I am a witless forger of my fate, a fate that should have been about touching a life, providing someone insight into their humanity, reminding whomever that all of us are everything. We are all, we are…John K.
How does the artist walk into the virtual space? What are its dimensions? How do we reinvent yet remain true to our art, personalizing the interface between audience and artist?
I speak to all disciplines and I encourage you to find a new way to break the Fourth Wall, not by displacing the irreplaceable live exchange, but to create a democracy of self-curation that invites the audience to explore our unique voices in all of their modes of exploration.
Art has walked hand-in-hand with society from prehistoric times. It is the outlet for points of free-reflection on life and spirituality–sometimes a question, sometimes a truth. The instinct to imagine, to put a shape or sound or poetic scheme to amorphous inspiration is limitless and given to everyone. It’s important that we never lose nor devalue that great gift in being human.
I believe the virtual space is an untapped opportunity for speaking to and through one’s art.
I also believe we can’t walk toward the future if we don’t eagerly embrace what it has to offer. Just as a visual artist might work in oils and then defect to assemblage or video, the virtual platform offers so many opportunities for expression and for engagement.
Our lives are our creation, our art follows.
Γνώθι Σεαυτόν (gnothi seauton)–know yourself, an Ancient Greek adage, one of the Delphic maxims.
For more info, see Work Reel and Bio below.
Work Reel (audio, video, stage performances and creations, original music, actor)
Professional Journey (Bio)
As a former professional opera singer with a crossover edge, Stephanie’s early career ranged in its collaborative work with artists such as Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Van Dyke Parks, John Adams, Ry Cooder, Jeff Bridges, Walter Hill, Maury Yeston, Sir Peter Hall, Peter Sellars, Andre Serban, Jonathan Miller, Danny Elfman, Case Scaglione, and Music Producer David Was, to name a few. These collaborations led Stephanie to further explore performance art, while coaching and mentoring students in theatre technique and voice for a number of years.
Stephanie’s work has always emphasized the theater in music. In her early years as professional opera singer, Stephanie sang principal roles in opera houses nationally and internationally. She is deeply grateful for her longstanding relationship with LA Opera, a company that provided her with countless principle and supporting roles from Suzuki to Nicklaus and allowing her to explore her craft as a young singer. She has been a featured soloist with outstanding orchestras and festivals such as the LA Phil, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and the Ojai Festival. Her national and international tours include Carmen (title role) with San Francisco Opera, European engagements of Nixon in China, most notably, a residency at the Maison de la Culture in Bobigny, France. A recipient of the Chanel Diva Award, Stephanie’s interest in early 20th century German Expressionist music brought her to solo opportunities in concert on National Public Radio as well as an artist’s residency at Duke University. Her voice has been featured in films and large brand commercials while she has also made guest appearances as dramatic narrator with orchestra. Her direction of and performances in cabaret-influenced performance art were highly acclaimed by the LA Times and Variety, earning her the moniker of the moonlighting Diva by the Associated Press, and resulting in an invitation to tour her show Completely Weill in Greece where she was also featured in a Nicholas Triandafillydis film, Mavro Gala, premiering at the Cannes Festival in 2004.
Never mind that the majority of the arias are sung in German–Vlahos transcends language. She has an uncanny ability to make each word, each line, each syllable reach into your soul, until you can no longer deny the pure human experience. Vlahos is a rare and distinct talent–both an outstanding actress and a singer with a voice so overwhelming you end up just in awe of the raw talent.—Lexy Spett, LA Weekly
One of 30 artists across the States to be nominated for the prestigious United States Artists Grant for Directing in 2014, Stephanie is recognised for her unique staging of classical work such as La Boheme and Romeo and Juliet with Lyric Opera Virginia, and Britten’s Little Sweep in collaboration with Maestro James Conlon, not to mention a work for the Confucius Institute conceived and directed by Stephanie entitled Pacific Cinderella that premiered in Hangzhou, China in 2013. Pacific Cinderella was a collaborative work focused on commonality and cultural exchange through the arts. Stephanie has directed opera, theatre, and event shows from sold-out performances of operas for California State University to critically successful Equity theatre productions.
—Stephanie Vlahos, is a former professional opera singer herself, and her knowledge of the interplay between teacher and student is probably more authentic than you’ll encounter in most revivals of Marans’ work. She has found two actors in Towey and Danz who convincingly play and sing their own music without relying on recordings and they are no less convincing in their spoken dialogue. This is a remarkable revival of a play that appears to be close to achieving classic stature.LA STAGE TIMES – DON SHIRLEY, Old Wicked Songs.
— director Stephanie Vlahos reworks genre conventions to delicately rubato effect.—DAVID NICHOLS – LA TIMES – The Morini Strade
Opera Posse and Mentorship
Stephanie’s boutique company, Opera Posse, hit the ground running with a critically-acclaimed production of Amahl and the Night Visitors at California’s State Theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse, with Malcolm McDowell reading A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Her hybrid production with freely conceived lyrics by Stephanie and interpolated pop songs by young high school students entitled, Carmen High (after the opera Carmen), was not only featured in Getty Images with a rave review from Broadway World, it also received 5-stars at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Perhaps not for the died-in-the-wool purist, Carmen HIGH is a refreshingly new take on an old form that allows a classic to speak to new generations of audiences. Told without the aid of props or set elements, it relies on the gifts of its performers who deliver performances that are not only exciting but are a window into what afflicts us at the very core – intolerance, prejudice, and fear.”—Barbara Stucker, Broadway World
A passionate advocate of outreach through education, Stephanie created a project at the LA County High School for the Arts, Full Circle Opera Project, dedicated to the outreach of opera not only by encouraging young singers to experience opera in performing grand opera themselves but through their own unique prism. Full Circle Opera Project earned a generous 15-year grant from the Thornton Foundation collectively earning over a million dollars for the exploration into the value of opera for young adults. The project was acknowledged as ground-breaking by the LA Board of Supervisors in addition to winning countless Macy awards. “I have learned more about myself as an artist through mentorship than from all my years as a performer.”
“…the production of The Tales of Hoffmann was nothing less than inspiring. The passion of these young performers leapt across the footlights and grabbed the audience by the throats. The level of artistry from voices to acting to set design was impressive.”– David Bowman, Editor-in-Chief Performances Magazine
“…a lively, beautifully staged, stark and vigorous facsimile of both drama and music…directed by Stephanie Vlahos, who has sung roles with the L.A. Opera”– Alan Rich, LA Weekly
Stephanie earned an academic degree in music at Yale University with further vocal studies at The Juilliard School. Stephanie is honoured to have served on the Thornton School of Music, Board of Councilors at USC and to have helped establish the Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera where she was Theatre Director and Coach for 5 years in its inception. She has performed in that capacity at a number of universities such as the Opera Institute at the Bob Cole Conservatory CSULB, USC, and UCLA, and continues to consult young artist programmes. Former students range from HAIM (the band) to Broadway performers to Metropolitan Opera singers.
Stephanie is currently based in Edinburgh where she is working on a variety of projects with folks from both the States and the UK. She is also invested in how artists can walk into the virtual space and extend their reach.
Related Awards/Symposiums, Committees:
6-time awardee in Who’s Who in American Teachers, Drama Desk Award for best actress (Tales of Hoffmann), Stanford University Recognition of Inspiring Teacher, Boston University Symposium for the Center for Artistry and Scholarship, Judge and Masterclasses for Los Angeles Spotlight Awards, AFI films, NATS, USC Thornton Board of Councilors, Martin Benson Award for Best Director of a Drama 2015
Interview with Joan Quinn – West Coast editor of Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Joan’s constant snapshot taking for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner of emerging and established artists. Her ‘The Joan Quinn Profiles’ cable television show created an archive of people in the creative world.
Writer/Creator/Stage Director Stephanie Vlahos brings her accumulated experience in the performing arts/mentorship/and writing to her professional collaborations.
Working as a writer and a stage director, her skill sets include everything from curation to research to media presentation to storytelling. She believes that a life steeped in the artistic process can lend insight and impact in unexpected mediums and technologies.
- Pacific CinderellaPacific Cinderella a collaboration between young artists from Los Angeles Read More
- Carmen High – Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016“Carmen HIGH finds common ground with all audiences and not Read More
- Who wears a suit in the desert?He approached Ax who had one foot in the car just in case.
- My advice is read onAs I float through the inconceivable distance…
- Mission to MarsI am weightless and yet the red mass seems to meet me with enormous speed.
- Mozart’s Don GiovanniBob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Read More
- Elle Qui Chante – by Todd Everett for Variety MagazineUnlike many opera stars trying to expand into pop styles, Read More
- That kissRhea walked into the club space as the audience applauded
- Mozart’s, The Marriage of FigaroThe Opera Institute at the Cole Conservatory presents The Marriage Read More
- Viva Verdi, Lyric Opera VirginiaA celebration of Verdi’s centennial, 2013 Lyric Opera Virginia, Viva Read More
- Lion in Winter, Colony TheatreMariette Hartley and Ian Buchanan bring star quality, decades of stage and screen experience, and award-winning acting chops to the Colony Theatre
- Old Wicked Songs, Colony TheatreIf your heart is in despair, there is no better Read More
- The Morini Strad, Willy Holtzman, The Colony TheatreRecommended to everyone, but if you happen to be a music lover also, you should get your tickets before you even finish reading this.
- The Gangster HourA pastiche of whodunnit mixed with big band taken to Read More
- MindiFrom Mercury’s Wake
- “What If?” Inaugural Production for Domingo-Thornton Young Artists Program at LA OperaWhat If is the question first asked by the great Read More
- Mavro Gala, a film by Nicholas Triandafyllidis“A young writer, who wastes his talent in a soap Read More
- Thea Musgrave for her 90th Birthday“I am a woman and I am Scots and I Read More
- WeARE Adaawe at the Edinburgh FringeThis is a story about the moon This is a Read More
- In the Moon RoomEverlasting, steadfast beacon, she moves in phases of renewal. The moon. We stand in her sanctuary.
- Tales of HoffmannThe Tales Of Hoffmann find their inspiration from the short stories of the 19th century German composer, painter, caricaturist, and author E.T.A. Hoffmann, wherein Hoffmann himself is the protagonist.
- Amahl and the Night VisitorsArt should be shared and when that happens, love emerges. Read More
- Rap O’ShanterThis truth fand honest Tam o’ Shanter, As he frae Ayr ae night did canter, (Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses For honest men and bonie lasses.)
- SwayWhat once were todays.A woman, lithe past my body’s comprehension,standing Read More
- The Bones of TreesThe Bones of Trees The split of earth and sky Read More
- touchtouch to be with you there, at that place of long aheadsbut Read More
- Before The Stage Went DarkThe art in life, the art in politics, and the Read More
- EVEN MORE WEILL
- Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Carmen HighMusic Selections from Carmen GEORGE BIZET Alcoholic Kisses – LILY Read More
- A Road Trip to Mars – a triptychA series of spoken word performances telling the story of Read More
- The Fourth WallIs this real? Or is it simply an altered reality. Read More
- Second Series Mercury’s Wake the story continuesThe story continues as the book and script is prepared Read More
- The Story of A R EyesOriginal text to original audio. This work is under development. Read More
- Silenced VoicesMercury’s Wake Series 1 – The Book of Imani Bonus Read More
- Trust me, it’ll all just get weirderMercury’s Wake Series 1 – The Book of Imani Episode Read More
- That’s mine, by the wayMercury’s Wake Series 1 – The Book of Bozzy Episode Read More
- What Drama May ComeMercury’s Wake Series 1 – The Book of Bozzy Episode Read More
- Vegas is for opportunistsMercury’s Wake Series 1 – The Book of Rhea Episode Read More
- Room ServiceMercury’s Wake Series 1 Episode 7 The end of Day Read More
- You have one new messageMercury’s Wake – The Book of Imani Bonus Track As Read More