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Stephen Jeffes

“Stephen Jeffes as the evangelist was really terrific; not only a cracking voice, but also a vocation to be an evangelist and drive the narrative along”

Finchley Choral Society’s Christmas Oratorio
Hampstead & Highgate Express, December 2010

Stephen Jeffes’ early childhood was divided between life in the UK and France.  He began his musical training as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, before reading Music at the University of Bristol. Stephen returned to London as a freelance consort singer and soloist, working with ensembles including The Tallis Scholars, Gabrieli Consort, The Monteverdi Choir, The English Concert and EXAUDI.  He is currently studying with Ryland Davies.

Stephen is forging a successful career as a contemporary music specialist, and recent solo performances in this field include Gerard Pesson’s Trois Cantates with Ensemble L’Instant Donné for the IRCAM Agora Festival (Paris);  Stravinsky Threni and Sermon, Narrative and Prayer with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo; Alan Williams Wonder: A Scientific Oratorio with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Jonathan Dove’s Missa Brevis with The English Concert; Claude Vivier’s Journal with the Psappha Ensemble; Michael Finnissy’s Anima Christi with EXAUDI at the Huddersfield Festival; and a recital of songs by John Cage and Amber Priestley.

A versatile performer, Stephen’s oratorio work ranges from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, and Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, to Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Rachmaninov Vespers and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.  He is also in demand as an Evangelist for Bach’s St Matthew and St John Passions. Recent highlights include performances of  Britten St Nicolas at St John’s, Smith Square; Bach Cantata BMV 83 with the St James Baroque for Radio 3; and Arvo Pärt’s Passio with Endymion at the BBC Proms, both under David Hill.

Equally at home on the operatic stage, Stephen’s first professional engagement was playing the role of Miles in Britten’s Turn of the Screw for Tel Aviv Opera in Israel and Germany.  In 2010 he created the role of the Jailer in The Jailer’s Tale, a new opera written by Malcolm Singer for the Finchley Children’s Music Group and the Yehudi Menuhin School. Other recent roles include Tamino The Magic Flute for Opera!! Festival in Holland; Narrator in Judith Weir’s The Vanishing Bridegroom with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican; Student in Janáček’s Osud under Jiří Bělohlávek at the BBC Proms; and The White Monk/ Antichrist in Peter Maxwell Davies’s opera Taverner with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins.

Current engagements include Rossini’s Stabat Mater in Portsmouth Cathedral, Gounod’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

Monmouth Choral Society’s Christmas Oratorio, December 2010

“The solo contributions from … Stephen Jeffes …were joyously dramatic. The marriage of airs and recitatives was consummate.”
Nigel Jarrett South Wales Argus

“Stephen Jeffes provided a clear reading in his role of the Evangelist and was eloquent in the tenor arias”
Keith Ellerington, Monmouthshire Beacon.

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