The English bass-baritone, Stephen Richardson, read music at Manchester University before training at the Royal Northern College of Music. Since graduating he has assumed many of the leading bass roles in the operatic repertoire.
Performances with the major British companies include Daland (The Flying Dutchman), Claggart (Billy Budd), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Colline (La bohème), The Commendatore (Don Giovanni), The Commandant (From the House of the Dead), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Baron Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier), Swallow (Peter Grimes), Timur (Turandot), The Commander in the British premiere of The Handmaidís Tale and Sir Morosus in Straussí Die schweigsame Frau. Abroad he has appeared at Netherlands Opera, Opera National de Paris, Teatro alla Scala, Oper der Stadt Bonn, Istanbul Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival and Nationale Reisopera. Last season (2002-2003) he sang the role of The Emperor in Tan Dunís new opera Tea at Suntory Hall and Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam and the roles of Hotel Manager, Duke, Laundryman, Other Guest and Judge in Powder her Face at De Vlaamse Opera.
As a concert artist Stephen Richardson is recognised for the broadness of his repertoire. Notable appearances include Janáčekís Glagolitic Mass with the London Symphony Orchestra, Messiah under Trevor Pinnock at Carnegie Hall and Tiresias (Oedipus Rex) in the BBCís Stravinsky Festival under Andrew Davis. A specialist in contemporary repertoire he has given the premiere performances of Gerald Barryís The Conquest of Ireland, The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit and The Intelligence Park, Tan Dunís Orchestral Theatre II: Re and John Tavenerís Eis Thanaton, Resurrection, The Apocalypse and Fall and Resurrection with City of London Sinfonia at St Paulís Cathedral. He has also sung Adamsí Nixon in China with the London Symphony Orchestra, Knussenís Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop! with The Cleveland Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta both under the composerís direction and Kaufmannís The Maharam de Rothenburg for Radio France.
Recordings include Where the Wild Things Are, the title role in Alexander Goehr's Death of Moses for Unicorn Kanchana, Purcellís Ode for the Birthday of Queen Mary 1694 for DG Archiv, Purcell's Now Doth the Glorious Day Appear for Sony, Mozart Requiem for Denon, Igor Stravinsky's The Flood, Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis for Philips and Albert Herring for Chandos.
Highlights of 2003-2004 season include Adesí new opera The Tempest for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Peter Grimes at Netherlands Opera.