Described as “a fine storyteller” (American Record Guide), “varied in tone and alive to feeling” (Fanfare Magazine), baritone Stephen Lancaster engages audiences through diverse repertoire in concert, recital, and opera. Winner and Audience Favorite in the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition and winner of the American Prize for men in art song and oratorio, he has been featured in venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Centro Cultural de Belém, Petit Palau de la Música Catalana, and Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall.
Recent performances include Poulenc’s Le bal masqué and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the South Bend Symphony Chamber Orchestra, creating the role of Jaques in As You Like It by Roger Steptoe, and recital programs in the Gstaad New Year Music Festival in Switzerland, Musique dans le Grésivaudan, and the Festival de Musique d’Uzerche in France. A passionate recitalist, Lancaster has performed Lieder programs in Paris and Frankfurt, at the Eure-et-Loir Festival, and for the Brooklyn Art Song Society in New York. He has recorded an album of French art songs with pianist Martin Katz, Le Menu des Mélodies (Centaur Records), and his recital on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series was broadcast live by classical radio station WFMT.
Concert credits include the Fauré & Duruflé Requiems at Carnegie Hall with Distinguished Concerts International New York; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the South Bend Symphony; Carmina Burana with Lisbon Summer Fest, Warren Symphony, and Oakland Symphony Orchestra at the Max M. Fisher Music Center; Rachmaninoff’s The Bells and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Holland Symphony; Brahms’ Requiem with Chorosynthesis in Seattle and Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra; Duruflé’s Requiem with Macalester College in St. Paul. Other engagements have included baritone and bass solos In Terra Pax (Finzi), Dona Nobis Pacem (Vaughan Williams), An American Requiem (Danielpour), Kindertotenlieder (Mahler), Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), Mass in C (Beethoven), Requiem (Mozart), Magnificat (Bach), and Messiah (Handel).
On the operatic stage, highlights include Anthony in Sweeney Todd and Dancaïro in Carmen with Eugene Opera; Jake Wallace in La fanciulla del West with Apotheosis Opera; Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Atlantic Music Festival; Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Notre Dame; Schaunard in La bohème, Falke in Die Fledermaus, and Morales in Carmen with Arbor Opera Theater.
Lancaster was the male winner and audience favorite in the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition at Weill Recital Hall in 2013 and the central region winner in the NATS Artist Awards in 2012. In 2016, he won the The American Prize in Vocal Performance for men in art song and oratorio, in addition to receiving the Chicago Oratorio Award. A lover of new music, Lancaster was recorded in the west-coast premiere of John Musto’s Book of Uncommon Prayer as a Stern Fellow at SongFest and premiered numerous works by American composers as an Artist Fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival. He also enjoys crossing the boundary between classical and popular music: he toured Taiwan with a collaborative recital program “Art Song vs. Broadway” and performs opera arias and jazz standards regularly on tour with the Notre Dame Concert Band.
Born and raised in Canada, Lancaster earned certificates in piano and voice from The Royal Conservatory of Music before moving to the United States. He holds degrees in vocal performance from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan and currently serves as Associate Professor of the Practice at the University of Notre Dame, where he heads the graduate studio in voice. He is also active in sacred music, frequently performing sacred concerts for voice and organ with organist Kevin Vaughn and serving as Parish Organist and Choir Director at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church in Elkhart, Indiana.
Background: Brian McConkey