The American tenor, Steven Paul Spears, received in May 2004, the Master’s Degree in Music from the Juilliard School in New York City, where he began his studies with Marlena Malas and voice with Daniel Ferro in Fall 2003. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Louisville School of Music, under Edith Davis Tidwell. Topping Steven's list of competition placings, he made his NYC debut in a prize-winners' concert at Lincoln Center, as recipient of the Max Kade Foundation Award (2nd Place), sponsored by the Liederkranz Foundation. Other competition placings include the Metropolitan Opera Council Tri-State Region Auditions, the Palm Beach Opera Competition, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Steven Paul Spears has performed with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and in several opera companies in the USA, including the Aspen Music Festival, Utah, Utah Festival (in Logan), Palm Beach, Kentucky, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Memphis, as well as the Juilliard Opera Theater. In March 2003, under the baton of James Conlon, Steven began a series of performances singing the Harlekin in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, produced in conjunction with the Juilliard School. Originating in New York City, this production has been seen in Spoleto, Italy, Los Angeles and Miami, Chicago, culminating in a performance in Houston November 2006. The Chicago Tribune said his performance was “most expressive and beautiful of voice.” In summer 2005 Steven portrayed the comic role of Demo in Cavalli’s Giasone under the leadership of Early Music specialist Harry Bicket at the Aspen Opera Theatre, garnering glowing reviews from the NY Times, Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News.
Specializing in obscure works of the Baroque (Monteverdi and George Frideric Handel) and contemporary periods (Orff and Benjamin Britten), his operatic repertoire also includes the coloratura and lyric roles of W.A. Mozart and Rossini, as well as mainstream character roles, including the roles of Tamino, Monostatos, Ferrando, Little Bat in Floyd's Susannah, Il Conte in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the Younger Son in B. Britten's The Prodigal Son, Fenton, Candide, Ernesto, the tenor-altino roles in Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortiléges, Goro in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and David in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
In concerts Steven Paul Spears has sung acclaimed performances with the New England Bach Festival in Vermont, Marlboro Music Festival, The Academy of Ancient Music, Deutschen Symphonie-Orchester, La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra (in Brussels), Louisville Orchestra, Louisville Bach Society, Richmond (VA) Ballet, Louisville Chorus, Gloriana (formerly in Salt Lake City, now in Denver), Kentucky Center Chamber Players, Ars Femina, Lautten Compagney Berlin and the Louisville Ballet. This Fall (2009) Steven made further New York debuts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in Igor Stravinsky’s Renard and Carmina Burana with the National Chorale. His concert repertoire contains works by G.F. Handel, Benjamin Britten, J.S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Ralph Vaughan Williams, including performances of Carmina Burana, the settings of the Requiem Mass by W.A. Mozart and Webber, Elijah, Messiah, Mass settings of Schubert, W.A. Mozart, Bruckner, F. Mendelssohn and Puccini, Christmas Oratorio (Camille Saint-Saëns), Four Dialogues (Rorem), and Hodie (R. Vaughan Williams), St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the New England Bach Festival in Marlboro, Vermont. In April 2003, he made his Carnegie Hall debut singing B. Britten’s War Requiem with the Juilliard Orchestra and Choral Union, with Maestro David Atherton.
Steven Paul Spears has completed a recording of Renard, utilizing I. Stravinsky’s translation and final editions to the score, conducted by Robert Craft for Naxos Records. He has recorded J.S. Bach's Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) and B Minor Mass (BWV 232) with the New England Bach Festival and B. Britten's St. Nicolas with the Choir of St. Francis in the Fields and conductor James Rightmyer in Louisville, Kentucky.
Steven Paul Spears is Assistant Professor of Music, voice, at Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin.