Stephen also had another field that he was very passionate about.
“I loved dinosaurs as a kid and never grew out of it,” Stephen says. “I used to sit in my back yard and pick through rocks looking for fossils.”
So in addition to his musical theater degree, Stephen studied paleontology at Carthage College.
“I never want to be confined to doing just one thing with my life,” Stephen says. “By pursing degrees in both of my passions, I have the ability to be a museum educator, an actor or a singer.”
But how did he get into opera?
As an undergrad student, one of Stephen’s college teachers directed him toward more classical singing repertoire, and it was then that he began to find a home as a lyric baritone. He focused on developing this singing technique during his graduate studies at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.
Throughout Stephen’s training, he discovered a particular love of the Verismo opera style – the post-Romantic era operas of composers such as Leoncavallo and Puccini.
“My favorite role so far in my career has been Silvio in Leoncavalla’s Pagliacci,” Stephen says. “And I really want to sing Marcello in Puccini’s La bohème!”
As a Carthage College alumni and a current resident of Chicago, Stephen is excited to spend time in Milwaukee this summer.
“Milwaukee is a city that I’ve visited many times but never truly gotten to know,” Stephen says. “I’m thrilled to bounce around Wisconsin with some awesome people, bringing classical music with us.”