Conductor • Horn
• Born 1952
Often appears with
A serious artist with an attractive bass-baritone instrument, Stephen Roberts has succeeded on the opera stage as well as the concert platform. His ability to master the music of many styles and many periods enabled him to attract the attention of several prominent conductors whose interest helped foster his career. In addition to an active performing schedule, he has made a considerable number of recordings.
During the years 1969 to 1971, Roberts studied on scholarship with Gerald English and Redvers Llewelyn at London's Royal College of Music. While a student, he won the Agnes Nichols Trophy, as well as a Boise Foundation grant. In 1973, he was awarded second place in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Competition.
He began his professional career as a Lay Clerk at Westminster Abbey in London, holding that position from 1972 to 1976. Thereafter, he moved on to accept other engagements, soon becoming a frequent guest in choral and orchestral concerts. His activities took him to many parts of Europe, America, Israel, South America, and the Far East. After specializing in music of the Baroque period, Roberts began to explore other parts of baritone repertory. Eventually, his opera repertory came to include such diverse roles as Falke in Die Fledermaus, Ramiro in Ravel's L'heure espagnole, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Aeneas in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Ubalde in Gluck's Armide, and the self-absorbed Mittenhofer in Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers. As a corollary, his concert work expanded to embrace televised performances in such works Britten's War Requiem, Delius' Sea Drift, Kurt Weill's Sieben Todsünden, and Handel's oratorios Judas Maccabaeus and Jephtha.
A tour of Italy and America with the London Bach Society afforded Roberts additional recognition while, in England, he became a popular artist at Proms concerts. His recording activities began early. Among his many important recordings are: Penderecki's Lukas-Passion; two Elgar oratorios, The Apostles and Caractucus; Fauré's Requiem, Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony; Handel's Alexander's Feast; Orff's Carmina Burana; Stravinsky's Canticum Sacrum and Mass; Gluck's Armide; Mozart's Mass in E major, and a collection of works by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.