CONRADI Symphonie “Oh Weh! Ach rette mich!” from Ariadne
HANDEL Excerpt from Overture in D major, HWV 337
MONTEVERDI “Deus in Adjutorium” from Vespers
MONTEVERDI “Lauda” from Vespers
Stephen Stubbs maintains a busy calendar as a guest conductor and artistic director, specializing in baroque opera and oratorio.
Stubbs began his career as an opera director with Stefano Landi’s La Morte d’Orfeo at the 1987 Bruges festival, which led to the founding of the ensemble Tragicomedia. Since 1997 Stephen has co-directed the bi-annual Boston Early Music Festival opera and is the permanent artistic co-director. BEMF’s recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thesee, and Psyché were nominated for Grammy awards in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
In 2008 he established Pacific MusicWorks in Seattle. The company’s inaugural presentation was a revival of South African artist William Kentridge’s acclaimed multimedia marionette staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses in a co-production with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. After a warmly received 2010 presentation of Monteverdi’s monumental Vespers of 1610 at Seattle’s St. James Cathedral, PMW presented a full subscription season, opening with a program based on the Song of Songs and ending with two triumphantly successful performances of Handel’s early masterpiece, The Triumph of Time (1707). Recent highlights include conducting three oratorios by Giacomo Carissimi, as well as Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo and Messiah.
As a guest conductor Stubbs has led performances of Gluck’s Orfeo and Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto in Bilbao, Spain, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Amsterdam’s Netherlands Opera. Following a successful debut conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, he was subsequently invited back to conduct the Symphony’s performances of Messiah. After last season’s Messiah debut with the Edmonton Symphony, Mr. Stubbs performed Bach’s Magnificat in Charleston, South Carolina; St Matthew Passion in Denver, Colorado, the Monteverdi Vespers in Los Angeles, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Hawaii. This past season brought Handel’s Agrippina with Opera Omaha and L’Allegro for UCLA, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at Boston Early Music Festival, plus a roster of Bach, Buxtehude and Biber for Pacific MusicWorks.
Stephen Stubbs was born in Seattle, Washington, where he studied composition, piano and harpsichord at the University of Washington. In 1974 he moved to England to study lute with Robert Spencer and then to Amsterdam for further study with Toyohiko Satoh and soon became a mainstay of the burgeoning early-music movement there, working with Alan Curtis on Italian opera in Italy, William Christie on French opera in France, as well as various ensembles in England and Germany, particularly the Hilliard Ensemble. After a thirty-year career in Europe, Mr. Stubbs returned to his native Seattle in 2006, and in 2013 joined the University of Washington’s School of Music as Senior Artist in Residence. He made his public debut at the UW in May 2014 as artistic director and conductor of a Pacific MusicWorks and School of Music co-production of Handel’s 1743 opera Semele. In 2015 in addition to the biennial Festival, highlighted by stagings of all three Monteverdi operas, the Boston Early Music Festival tours Europe with a production of Steffani’s Niobe and later that year, Pacific MusicWorks and UW School of Music present Mozart’s Magic Flute.