For a full list of Operaview performers, click here.
Stephen Aviss TENOR
Stephen was born in Surrey. Originally pursuing a career in the theatre, Stephen studied English Literature at University College London, where he was president of the Drama Society, and graduated with an honours degree and colours for drama. Some of the theatre roles he has played include Agamemnon in Agamemnon (Aeschylus), Brutus in Julius Caesar (Shakespeare), Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare), Malcolm in Macbeth (Shakespeare), Mozart in Amadeus (Shaffer) and Jack Chesney in Charley’s Aunt (Thomas). Stephen also co-wrote and directed his own show, Mind the Gap and directed Sir Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia.
Music has always been a part of Stephen’s life and so when the opportunity arose to combine both drama and music in opera, it felt like a homecoming. Following a chance meeting with a Swedish singing teacher, he moved to Sweden to train, studying at the University College of Opera in Stockholm, where he sang the title role in Gounod’s Faust, extracts from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and Lehar’s The Merry Widow, as well as Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen. Returning to London, Stephen trained at the Royal Academy of Music. His studies have been supported by Coutts & Co Charitable Trust, the Matthew and Salley Ferrey Scholarship, the Sylvia Simon Special Award and the Italian cultural charity, Il Circolo; Stephen is also a Josephine Baker Trust singer.
Whilst at the Royal Academy, Stephen sang scenes from Vanessa (Barber) and Puccini’s operas La Boheme (directed by John Copley) and Madama Butterfly. For RAO, Stephen sang Christoph in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies opera Kommilitonen, Macheath in Weill’s Die Dreigroschenoper and Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin, described in the Sunday Telegraph as ‘heart-stopping’. Masterclasses have included working with Renee Fleming, Dennis O’Neill, Diane Forlano and John Copley.
After the Academy, Stephen trained at the National Opera Studio, where he was supported by UNUM.
Stephen’s professional operatic debut was at Folkoperan in Stockholm, singing the role of Regi Assistenten and Rabbi (non singing role) in Zarah by Swedish composer, Anders Nilsson. His British debut was with Surrey Opera, singing the role of Fenton in Nicolai’s opera The Merry Wives of Windsor. Stephen understudied the role of Ruggero in Puccini’s opera La Rondine with British Youth Opera. Stephen has sung the role of Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata with the European Chamber Opera and reprised the role in June 2013 at the Iford Arts Festival.
Most recently, Stephen sang in Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s production of Britten’s Billy Budd which was restaged in New York in February 2014. Stephen has also performed many concerts internationally, including at the Palace of Versailles for the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Weizmann Institute, as well as opera galas in Beirut, Geneva, Paris and Stockholm. He has toured extensively in Sweden and Norway performing not only opera, but also lieder and songs from Italy, England and Scandinavia. Television work includes a performance of The Office, The Opera for BBC’s Comic Relief. A regular performer of oratorio, Stephen has sung Handel’s Samson, The Messiah, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, and Verdi’s Requiem.
Future engagements include understudying lead roles at Opera North and English National Opera.