Stephen Lord, Principal Conductor
Stephen Lord has been chosen by Opera News as one of the “25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera” (one of four conductors), and is continually praised for conducting both traditional and contemporary operatic works. For his debut with San Francisco Opera, conducting Rigoletto, one critic observed, “He partnered his singers perfectly and gave everything its proper weight – he was master of the score’s details and the orchestra played superbly for him.” He is currently principle conductor of the Michigan Opera Theater, and formerly was music director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Boston Lyric Opera. He now serves as artistic director of opera studies at the New England Conservatory, overseeing all aspects of the opera training program and conducting one main stage production a year.
In the 2016-17 season, Stephen Lord conducted Opera Maine’s production of La traviata, returned to the Canadian Opera Company to conduct Norma, and Michigan Opera Theatre for its production of La fanciulla del West. In 2015-16 Stephen Lord conducted Norma with the English National Opera, Macbeth with the Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Carmen with PORTopera. His 2014-15 season included conducting Madama Butterfly with Michigan Opera Theatre, La rondine with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Tosca with PORTopera, an opera gala concert with Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, and the Adler Fellows gala concert with San Francisco Opera.
Recent engagements included conducting concert versions of Rigoletto and La traviata for the Seoul Arts Center (South Korea); Un ballo in maschera and Lucia di Lammermoor for Canadian Opera Company; a gala concert with the Adler Fellows of San Francisco Opera; Don Pasquale and L’elisir d’amore with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Rossini’s La donna del lago with Santa Fe Opera; and conducting Don Pasquale for The Juilliard School opera program.
Recent highlights include his return to English National Opera to conduct its productions of Tosca and La bohème as well as a return to Michigan Opera Theatre to conduct Die Zauberflöte; a return to Wolf Trap Opera to conduct its Opera Alumni Concert; two major debuts, the first with English National Opera to conduct Rigoletto, and the second with Lyric Opera of Chicago to conduct Tosca, which he also conducted for Opera Colorado; La traviata with Opera Maine; Madama Butterfly for Opera Colorado; Macbeth with Opéra de Montréal; L’elisir d’amore with Michigan Opera Theatre; Salome for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and a return to Wolf Trap Opera to conduct La bohème.
Stephen Lord’s other highlights include three productions for Opera Colorado: La traviata, Don Pasquale and Der fliegende Höllander; The Tales of Hoffmann for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals concert; L’elisir d’amore at Boston Lyric Opera; and a concert version of Candide for Wolf Trap Opera. Other highlights include debuts with San Francisco Opera (Rigoletto) and Dallas Opera (La rondine), Un ballo in maschera and Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and I puritani for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
At Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Mr. Lord has conducted Roméo et Juliette, a double bill of Cavalleria rusticana and Suor Angelica, Tosca, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, La traviata, Kát’a Kabanová, Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Rape of Lucretia, Candide, The Beggar’s Opera, Curlew River, The Prodigal Son, The Gondoliers, King Arthur, La Fille du régiment, Ariadne auf Naxos and Madama Butterfly. During his tenure with Boston Lyric Opera he has led productions of The Little Prince, Eugene Onegin, Rigoletto, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, La rondine, Don Carlo, Don Pasquale, Madama Butterfly, La Fille du régiment, Salome, Aida, Die Zauberflöte, La traviata, Roméo et Juliette, Lucia di Lammermoor, Werther, Tosca, L’elisir d’amore, Falstaff, Il barbiere di Siviglia, I puritani and Carmen.
Stephen Lord made his New York City Opera debut in 2004 conducting La rondine. Other career highlights as guest conductor included appearances at Wolf Trap Opera (Roméo et Juliette, La bohème, Le nozze de Figaro and La clemenza di Tito) and with other North American companies such as the Canadian Opera, Opera Colorado, Michigan Opera Theatre, Florentine Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Pacific, Cleveland Opera and Arizona Opera. Mr. Lord has been a guest with the Boston Pops and first appeared in San Francisco leading the Merola Grand Finale Concert for the opera company. He also conducted Opera Omaha in telecast productions of La traviata and Roméo et Juliette, and the world premiere of the completed critical edition of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Mr. Lord was previously music director of the Banff Festival Opera, where he conducted L’Ormindo, The Rape of Lucretia, Cendrillon, Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte.
In addition to his opera endeavors, Stephen Lord has conducted at Carnegie Hall for PDQ Bach’s annual concerts and at the Berkshire Choral Festival Institute. He teaches Master Classes at various institutions including Yale University, The Blossom Festival, the Hartt School of Music and Westminster Choir College, and he serves as an adjudicator in vocal competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, Opera America’s George London/Sullivan Grants, and the Richard Tucker Foundation.