Stacey Tappan

Soprano
Bio
Photos
Review Excerpts
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Bio
Stacey Tappan has distinguished herself as an exceptional musical artist in the United States and abroad. In stellar reviews for her “witty and sexy” Adele in Die Fledermaus with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, she was praised for the production’s “most polished singing… her coloratura bright and well-focused.” Plaudits for her Gilda in Rigoletto with Opéra de Lille and Opéra de Dijon included, “the revelation of the evening” — “a luminous Gilda” — tremendous American soprano” —  “a magnificent discovery” and “high notes of a splendid sweetness.” 

Recent engagements for Ms. Tappan  have included Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire with Los Angeles Opera; the world premiere of Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene with San Francisco Opera; Susanna in Le nozze de Figaro with Jacksonville Symphony; Lucia di Lammermoor with Arizona Opera; Clorinda in La cenerentola, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, and Krenek’s Das Geheime Königreich, under the baton of James Conlon, with Los Angeles Opera; Charmeuse in Thaïs at the Edinburgh Festival; Adina in L’elisir d’Amore, Susanna in Le nozze de Figaro, and Despina in Così fan tutte with the Jacksonville Symphony; Carmina Burana with the Colorado Symphony; and the Ring Cycle with San Francisco Opera. Current engagements include Florestine in The Ghosts of Versailles with Los Angeles Opera; the title role in The Merry Widow with Light Opera Works; and covering Partenope with San Francisco Opera.

Heralded for her “breakthrough performance” as Bella in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Sir Michael Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage, Ms. Tappan has also appeared with the Lyric Opera as Nanetta in Falstaff, the Woodbird and Woglinde in the Ring Cycle, and Papagena in the student matinees of Die Zauberflöte, as well as covering Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and the title role in Lulu. While with the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, she “turned heads throughout operatic America” and “emerged as a real star” as Isis in the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s Lovers and Friends: Chautauqua Variations.

Tappan appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing Wing on Wing, composed and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” at the Hollywood Bowl. She sang in the first concert of the “Recovered Voices” series at the Los Angeles Opera under the baton of James Conlon, subsequently joining Conlon at the Ravinia Festival to sing the rarely heard songs of Alexander Zemlinsky and Franz Schreker. She has also appeared with Los Angeles Opera as Woglinde and the Woodbird in the Ring Cycle, the Wren in The Birds (recently released on DVD), Virtú and Pallade in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel.

Ms. Tappan’s concert work has included Carmina Burana with Los Angeles Master Chorale, Omaha Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Springfield Symphony, and Jacksonville Symphony; Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives with the Springfield Symphony; and Mahler’s Second Symphony with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra. Chicago concert highlights include “Bernstein on Broadway” with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra, Hugh Wood’s Scenes from Comus with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, three performances of the Stars of Lyric Opera concerts in Chicago’s Millennium Park, and Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Ravinia Festival.  She portrayed Cunegonde in Candide at the Chicago Cultural Center, later returning in Rossini’s Il signor Bruschino and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and winning critical acclaim as “the vocal showstopper.”

Ms. Tappan made her professional debut with Houston Grand Opera as Beth in Little Women, broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances and released on CD by Ondine and on DVD by Naxos. With Bangkok Opera, she portrayed Pamina in Die Zauberflöte after singing the title role in Madana, the first grand opera by a Thai composer. She is featured on the best-selling Thai recording of the Mahajanaka Symphony, a work honoring the King of Thailand. Her operetta roles include Mabel in Pirates of Penzance with Michigan Opera Theatre, and Hannah Glawari in The Merry Widow and Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate with Chicago’s Light Opera Works.

Her awards include grants from the Elardo Competition and the Solti Foundation U.S., first place in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation competition, finalist in the MacAllister and Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum competitions, the Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the Lucrezia Bori award, and first place from the New York Singing Teachers Association, as well as scholarships from Wolf Trap Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Miami, and Chapman University.

Photos


Review Excerpts


From Verdi’s Rigoletto:
“The American soprano Stacey Tappan was amazing in the role of Gilda. The purity and suppleness of her voice were suited to this delicate role which went from the expression of innocence to a woman’s sacrifice.”
Joelle Farenc, Resmusica.com, January 17, 2010

“Gilda, his innocent victim, was also a revelation. Stacey Tappan is an American soprano with incontestible gifts, which were particularly remarkable in the perfectly proportioned easy high notes, and in a lovely stage presence that made one forget her impoverished clothing.”
Isabell Truchon, Le Bien Public, January 12, 2010

“As for Stacey Tappan, she is without a doubt the revelation of the evening. Her superb soprano voice radiated throughout, by turns the loving innocent, the dutiful but impatient daughter, and finally the woman determined to the point of giving up her life. Her qualities as an actress never took second place to her qualities as a singer. The audience was right in giving her a fine ovation.”
Paul K’ros, Liberte Hebdo, May 16, 2008

“He has a daughter, Gilda, young and loving (the much applauded Stacey Tappan, with a stunning soprano voice) … one will remember Tappan’s vocal performance, full of lightness …”
La Voix du Nord, May 9, 2008 (France)

“The tremendous American soprano Stacey Tappan deploys her talent as a tragedienne. She tells the story, bringing to life through her singing vitality lost to despair.”
Patrice Demailly, Nord Éclair, May 9, 2008

“… the youthfulness of Stacey Tappan, a luminous Gilda whose singing well portrays the evolution from loving naivety to wounded woman …”
Michele Friche, Le Soir, May 13, 2008

“An excellent Gilda, in which Stacey Tappan combines her role debut and her debut on the French stage: her aria “Gualtier Malde” is overwhelming, and it is in this register of passionate naivety that she is most convincing. She is a magnificent discovery by the Lille team, a coloratura soprano with high notes of a splendid sweetness.”
Sophie Roughol, Forum Opéra, May 9, 2008

From Verdi’s Falstaff:
“Tappan turned Nannetta’s invocation of the forest spirits into gorgeous vocal moonlight.” John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, January 30, 2008

From “A Night at the Opera” Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra:
“Tappan showcased her glorious coloratura gifts in Offenbach’s “Les oiseaux.” She was entirely believable as a mechanical singing doll. Her control and clarity in this over-the-top romp was breathtaking. There was charming interplay between Tappan and (conductor) Acton as the doll’s spring ran down and needed rewound. The audience went wild at the conclusion of the aria. Bravo!”
Gregory H. Largent, The Saginaw News, May 2007

From Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel:
“The Dew Fairy was a towering, blue-lit apparition, with Soprano Stacey Tappan singing ethereally from on high.”
Carl Byron, Opera News, February 2007

“Tappan’s lovely vocal quality caught our ear even though we couldn’t keep our eyes off her imaginative blue, then pink-lit costume which elevated her into a heavenly vision.”
Carie J. Delmar, OperaOnline.us

From Strauss’ Die Fledermaus:
“The most polished singing, though, comes from the American soprano Stacey Tappan as Adele, the ambitious housemaid who Cinderella-like goes to the ball. Tappan is both skittish and poised, her coloratura bright and well focused. ”
Mark Gale, Mid Sussex Times, May 25, 2006

“I was particularly impressed by the young and impish Stacey Tappan, making her English debut as Adele, the maid. She will go far.”
John Eccles, Sussex Express, May 26, 2006

“Stacey Tappan as Adele was slight in body but her voice was perfect in tone and she hit the high notes with unchallenged clarity. Her performance as the maid-cum-actress was witty and sexy; being stripped down to her tights and corset didn’t seem to fluster her but it certainly had an effect on the audience! ”
Gareth Webb, Music OMH, June 11, 2006

“The singing, though, is good throughout, with particular fine performances from Stacey Tappan’s vibrant and direct sounding Adele …”
Edward Bhesania, The Stage, June 8, 2006

From Michael Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage:
“Among the leads, the best singing came from soprano Stacey Tappan, a charming Bella who did her hair and makeup without missing a beat of her aria.”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“Opera Center for American Artists alum Stacey Tappan shines as a member of the lead quartet, truly a breakthrough performance for this gifted singing actress.”
Andrew Patner, WFMT: Critic’s Choice

“Stacey Tappan’s bright soprano was perfect for the bustling Bella …”
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

“Stacey Tappan infused Bella with vibrant humanity and delivered her sturdy music with flair.”
Harvey Steiman, Seen and Heard International (MusicWeb)

From Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte:
“Advance publicity proclaimed the production as ‘starring Stacey Tappan,’ and in her role as Pamina she did just that. Tappan is a soprano with a wonderful tone throughout her range that supports her effortless natural phrasing and excellent shades of characterization. When on stage, everybody around her lit up.”
Dennis Kiddy, Bangkok Post

From Stars of Lyric Opera Pritzker Pavilion performance:
“Can any soprano glitter more dazzlingly in that imperishable coloratura-canary showpiece Je suis Titania (from Thomas’ Mignon) than Stacey Tappan? She’s a Lyric Center alum who’s already making it big just about everywhere she sings.”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“Soprano Stacey Tappan, yet another lyric training alum, thrillingly closed out the show with her saucy performance in the coloratura showcase Je suis Titania from Thomas’ Mignon. Dare we hope for a full performance at Lyric in the near future?”
Laura Emerick, Chicago Sun-Times

From Lehár’s The Merry Widow:
“One of the star recent graduates of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, Tappan sang divinely, looked glamorous in a succession of elegant gowns and, like most of the cast, delivered her spoken lines with conversational ease. She caught just the right note of rapturous sadness in Hanna’s Vilja Song, capped off with a lovely diminuendo on the high note.”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“Stacey Tappan is incredible as the female romantic lead, Hannah Glawari, and is almost reason enough to see this show. She carries the most beautiful songs – especially the opening song and dance of Act II – to such wrenching heights that you’d have to be heartless not to feel anything at all when she sings.”
Eric Tanyavutti, ChicagoCritic.com

“Stacey Tappan has a world-class voice that delivers her numbers with elegance. Her delivery of the griping Vilja, a folksy homage, was beautiful. Tappan’s acting talents were obvious.”
Tom Williams, ChicagoCritic.com

From Massenet’s Thaïs:
“Stacey Tappan as La Charmeuse breathed extra sensuality into her part, showing the audience that [Renée] Fleming was not the only sexy femme fatale on stage.”
James Edwards, Aurora Beacon-News

“… soprano Stacey Tappan wowed the Act Two party guests with her coloratura hijinks.”
Classicalvoice.org

From Sucharitkul’s Madana:
“The singing was uniformly of high quality, but special mention must be made of Stacey Tappan’s spectacular coloratura technique in the title role. Her attacca top E flat, sustained over a belting orchestra, was spine-chilling. Her diction is flawless, her voice grand. There is no doubt in my mind that this is an up- and-coming star.”
Mona Engvig, Opera Now

“Of the three, only the Juilliard-trained Ms. Tappan, who joins the Lyric Opera of Chicago in March, could be considered world class. Her stunning coloratura soprano transcended the bad acoustics of the hall and was the only voice that was understandable without the supertitles.”
Jennifer Gampell, Wall Street Journal

From Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance:
“As Mabel, [Frederick’s] true love, Stacey Tappan provided the show’s vocal touchstone, a ringing lyric soprano that confidently managed Sullivan’s florid lines.”
Lawrence B. Johnson, Detroit News

From Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges
“… regal soprano Stacey Tappan provided the evening’s most impressive vocal pyro-techniques as Fire, Princess and Nightingale.”
Michael Cameron, Chicago Tribune

“Stacey Tappan, Lyric Center alum who has already snared roles in Lyric’s upcoming Ring, was the vocal showstopper as the angry Fire, the conjured storybook Princess and a glorious Nightingale.”
Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times

From LaChiusa’s Lovers and Friends (Chautauqua Variations):
“Stacey Tappan’s soprano voice hits the rafters of the theatre, and she plays the lost soul with perfection.” J.T. Bowen, Centerstage.net

“The entire cast was remarkable. Stacey Tappan [as Isis, the pregnant daughter of U.S. poet laureate Babbitt Cross] emerged as a real star – her performance was breathtaking.”
Michael John LaChiusa, Lovers and Friends composer

From Mark Adamo’s Little Women
“… soprano Stacey Tappan sang the doomed Beth’s deathbed aria with haunting delicacy and poignancy.” William Albright, Opera News

“I was especially taken with Stacey Tappan’s float and spin in Beth’s death scene.” Stephen Francis Vasta, Opera News

From Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“Soprano Stacey Tappan, so memorable in last month’s production of Lovers and Friends, was Titania’s honey-voiced chief sprite. A fine actress, she and John DeLancie deftly sorted out the tangled action in a few quick exchanges in the opening scene.”
Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times

From Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea:
“Stacey Tappan was a spirited Virtù and an unwavering Pallade.”
Maria Nockin, Music and Vision, December 24, 2006

“Soprano Stacey Tappan sang beautifully and acted well in her two roles. She showed great comedic ability as the goddess Virtu in the opera’s opening scene, and was equally convincing when she portrayed Drusilla’s selfless (or self-deluding?) love for Ottone. She handled the difficult runs with ease. One hopes to hear her soon in larger roles.”
Margaret Harrison, Classical Singer Magazine

From Mozart’s Scenes from Le nozze di Figaro
“Stacey Tappan, with her warm, attractive soprano, made a convincing Susanna; her Deh, vieni was a charmer.”
Dan Tucker, Metromix

From Orff’s Carmina Burana
“gorgeous performance by Stacey Tappan whose supple, unvarnished soprano graced the exquisite “In truitina,” making for the evening’s most sublime moments.”
Barbara Vitello, Daily Herald

“…Tappan’s exquisite surrender in the short Dulcissime moment…”
Chris Shull, The Wichita Eagle

From Stars of Lyric Opera concert:
“Stacey Tappan … brought a bright, agile, powerful voice to the role of Sophie.” Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times

From Opera Now, Who’s Hot, November/December 2001:
“Stacey Tappan, soprano, a first-year member of the Chicago Lyric Opera’s apprentice wing, is turning heads throughout operatic America. She stole the proverbial show when she sang a leading role in the world premiere of LOCAA composer-in-residence Michael John LaChiusa’s Lovers and Friends (Chautauqua Variations). A former ensemble artist with the Santa Fe Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and a former member of the Juilliard Opera Center, she was recently seen in American television as Beth in Houston Grand Opera’s production of Mark Adamo’s Little Women. A beautiful young woman whose singing is shining and true, Tappan already possesses the musicality and finely honed stage skills of a far more experienced singer.”
John Von Rhein, Opera Now