Bass-Baritone
About

Grammy nominee Stephen L. Bryant’s distinguished career in concert and opera has taken him around the world, with acclaimed performances in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In the 2017-18 season he sings as soloist in Tan Dun’s Water Passion after St. Matthew with Soundstreams Canada. His engagements during the 2016-17 season included Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia and Pacific symphonies, Bach’s B Minor Mass with Orchestra Iowa and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, as well as performing in a pair of concerts with the Grand Rapids Bach Festival.

 

Posted: Nov-20-2017
Latest Recording

The work begins and ends with the sound of water. Tan goes beyond the traditional telling of the Passion by beginning with Christ's baptism and ending with an evocation of resurrection, suggesting, in the words of Ecclesiastes, "a time to love, a time of peace, a time to dance, a time of silence..." Water also serves as a powerful visual image. The stage is defined by seventeen transparent water bowls, lit from below. These form a large cross that separates the playing areas for the two choruses (one of sopranos and altos, one of tenors and basses), the two soloists (soprano, bass) and the two string players (violin, cello).

Posted: Nov-19-2002
Latest Acclaim

"Stephen L. Bryant has soloed on this work before, and was, of course, in full command of every note. His refined, velvety baritone is perfect for lyrical melodic lines as well as his multiple characters, all punctuated with extended vocal techniques. Yet he makes it all look easy, growling at the bottom of his full voice and lyrical through throat-singing techniques that elongate consonants and vowels and briefly transform his rich instrument into something reminiscent of an Aboriginal didgeridoo. This role, with alternations of lyrical melodies and forays into the lowest range, would wear out most voices. But we gasped as he immediately switched back into a lyrical head voice, as if nothing had happened. The man apparently has cords of pliable steel."

— Lauri's List
Posted: Apr-23-2015