LA Master Chorale and Tan Dun’s ‘Water Passion’

"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 D. Goldenhersh, Lauri's List
Tan Dun’s 'The Water Passion' superbly done by LA Master Chorale

“Stephen L. Bryant sang throughout the 90 minute work with sustained drama and beautiful tone. Never losing vocal control, his role as Jesus had him sing incredibly low notes, and then slowly sweep up into full operatic baritone sounds or end at high falsetto voice. His over-tone singing was quite impressive as was the general flexibility of his voice.”

Ahdda Shur, LA Examiner
Tan Dun’s Water Passion bathes all in excellence

“Carefully rehearsed over the past few weeks, the performance on Sunday was meticulously presented, with vocal soloists soprano-in-excelsis Delaram Kamareh and basso profundo-in-extremis Stephen L. Bryant dazzling in challenging roles that preclude nearly all potential soloists, given their respective tessituras alone.... His vocal production was prodigious and beautiful.”

Douglas Neslund, LA Opus
Riveting "Water Passion" at SummerFest

"Bass-baritone Stephen L. Bryant ardently propelled the passion narrative singing the words of Jesus and, in the opening section, those of John the Baptist, who aptly begins 'Water Passion' with St. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. A veteran of numerous 'Water Passion' performances (he has also recorded the work), Bryant’s deep, well-modulated sonority suggested gravitas without the stoicism some singers bring to the role of Jesus in a traditional passion oratorio."

Ken Herman, San Diego Story
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