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Stacey Tappan

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stacey tappan


BM Chapman University
MM Manhattan School of Music
Graduate Juilliard Opera Center

Soprano Stacey Tappan continues to distinguish herself as a world-class musical artist. 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" —  “a magnificent discovery" and “high notes of a splendid sweetness." Her debut in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor with Arizona Opera was “poignant and tragic" and lauded for “her beautiful coloratura, easy upper range and unfailing ear."

Ms. Tappan is highly sought after as a performer of modern works. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2018 as Dawn in Nico Muhly and Nicholas Wright's Marnie and returned to the Met in 2021 as Little Stone in Matthew Aucoin and Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, a role she first performed at Los Angeles Opera in 2020. The live recording of Eurydice at the Met netted a GRAMMY nomination for Best Opera Recording. In 2016 she originated the role of Madame White Snake in Scott Wheeler and Cerise Jabobs's Naga. Opera News declared, “Stacey Tappan made an imperious White Snake, tossing off Wheeler's staccati and roulades with shining, crystalline tone and astonishingly clear diction even in the stratosphere." Her professional debut in 2000 was in the role of Beth in the mainstage premiere of Adamo's Little Women for Houston Grand Opera. This production was also broadcast on PBS, released on CD by Ondine and on DVD by Naxos. Additional collaborations with Adamo include the world premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene for San Francisco Opera. One of Ms. Tappan's signature roles is Stella in Previn and Littell's A Streetcar Named Desire, which she has performed with Los Angeles Opera (opposite Renée Fleming), Opera San Jose and Hawaii Opera Theater. In close collaboration with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, Tappan created the stage work Once I Was, a monodrama built from 22 of Gordon's songs, which she subsequently recorded for Blue Griffin Records with the composer at the piano.

In 2017, she performed the role of Griselda in the US premiere of Alma Deutscher's Cinderella with Opera San Jose, a role she reprised in 2022. Other recent performances include Aveline Mortimer in the world premiere production of Kevin Puts and Mark Campell's Elizabeth Cree with Chicago Opera Theater, Chou-Chou in the North American premiere of Korngold and Décsey's Die Kathrin with Folks Operetta, La Charmeuse on the Juno Award winning recording of Thaïs with Toronto Symphony Orchestra and a return to San Francisco Opera to reprise the roles of Woglinde and the Forest Bird in the critically acclaimed Zambello production of the Ring Cycle. In the 2011 mounting of this production, Tappan was singled out for her “sparkling high voice that captivated" with “great beauty and carrying power." She also toured with Pop-Up Magazine for live performances in New York City, Washington DC and Saint Paul.

A perennial favorite of Los Angeles Opera for more than a decade, Ms. Tappan has performed in twelve productions on their stage to date, including Woglinde and the Forest Bird in the Ring Cycle, Queen Tye in Akhnaten, Nella in Gianni Schicchi (directed by Woody Allen), First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Virtù and Pallade inL'incoronazione di Poppea, Wren in Braunfels's Die Vögel (released on DVD by Arthaus Musik) and Clorinda in La Cenerentola. Ms. Tappan also gave a “beautifully pure, delicately ethereal" and “luminous" performance as Florestine on LA Opera's multiple GRAMMY award winning live recording of Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles.

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. Ms. Tappan's signature concert work is Carmina Burana, which she has sung throughout the country, including performances with Los Angeles Master Chorale and Colorado Symphony. Additional concert performances of note include Hugh Wood's Scenes from Comus for the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Jacksonville Symphony, Beethoven's Christ on the Mount of Oliveswith Springfield Symphony, Mozart's Requiem with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and several performances of Handel's Messiah, most recently with Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Tappan studied at Chapman University, Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School. She apprenticed at The Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she sang Isis in the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's Lovers and Friends: Chautauqua Variations. Her roles at the Lyric following her apprenticeship include Bella in Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage, Nanetta in Falstaff and Woglinde and the Forest Bird in the Ring Cycle.

In 1999, Thai composer and impresario Somtow Sucharitkul invited Ms. Tappan to travel to Bangkok to record his Mahajanaka Symphony, a work honoring King Rama IX. In subsequent years, she has become an avid musical ambassador and frequent visitor to Thailand, creating roles in six of Sucharitkul's operas, performing Pamina in Die Zauberflötewith Opera Siam, and mentoring the next generation of Thailand's classical singers. In 2013, she was presented with the Opera Siam Silver Rose Award for her contributions to opera in Thailand.

Ms. Tappan is an inaugural recipient of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. Additional awards presented to Ms. Tappan include First Prize in the 1999 International Vocal Competition of The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, First Prize in the NYSTA David Adams Song Competition and grants from The Shoshana Foundation and the Lucrezia Bori Foundation. Tappan was also a finalist in HGO's Eleanor McCollum Competition and the MacAllister Vocal Awards Competition. Ms. Tappan was born in Boston, raised in Pasadena, and resides in Chicago. 

 A passionate and dedicated teacher who is committed to creating a supportive, intellectually curious studio space in which singers feel free to explore all aspects of their unique artistic abilities and expressions, Ms. Tappan's teaching approach deploys real-world experience, technical proficiency, and joyful, creative imagination to help develop the whole artist. She was a member of the NATS intern program in 2012, serves on the voice faculties of Columbia College Chicago and the DePaul Community Music Division, and has previously taught at DePaul University, DePaul Summer Voice, Chicago High School for the Arts and Merit School of Music. She has given master classes for El Camino College, Chapman University and Northwestern University and is highly in demand as a speaker on compassionately addressing performance anxiety.