Music critics have described Steven B. Jepson as a "cavalier talent," "strong-voiced with a zestful comedic delivery," "a top-notch musician" and "a diamond mine." A respected international artist with expansive credits in the Americas, Europe and Japan, he displays a wide range of emotion, vocal agility and acting style.
Mr. Jepson's operatic repertoire includes leading roles in Don Pasquale, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Merry Widow, Ariadne auf Naxos, Roméo et Juliette, La Bohème, Die Zauberflöte and Faust. He made his European debut as Carmen's Escamillo, his signature role, with the Teatro Lirico Europa and has reprised the role with many companies in the United States. Following a performance of Don Pasquale, one critic wrote, "The show was nearly stolen by [his] Malatesta," who "possessed great stage presence, well-enunciated singing, and expressively broad acting, perfectly suiting his role." This season's engagements have included his Opera Carolina debut in Rigoletto and The Pirates of Penzance, It's a Grand Night for Singing with Long Leaf Opera in their inaugural Summer Festival season. This season, along with Roméo et Juliette, he will star in Cosi fan Tutte with Capital Opera (Raleigh).
A refined acting ability coupled with his rich, versatile baritone has produced memorable portrayals in musical theater. In a special event at the famed Chicago Auditorium Theater, he performed in a revival of Nöel Coward's After the Ball under the baton of John McGlinn. He has played such diverse roles as Billy Bigelow in Carousel, Juan Peron in Evita, Ko-Ko in The Mikado, Captain Paul Fontaine in The Desert Song and Sweeney in Sweeney Todd, where critics raved that Mr. Jepson's voice "was made to sing Sondheim's score" and "has never been better." He was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical by the Metrolina Theatre Association for his portrayal of Emile de Becque in CPCC's South Pacific.
His concert experience is rich and varied, from Broadway pops and cabaret to sacred works and symphonies. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in Schubert's Mass in G and also sang at Carnegie in Britten's War Requiem under the baton of Robert Shaw. A specialist in Vaughan Williams, he has appeared in the Sea Symphony and Mystical Songs with many orchestras. In addition to performing before an audience of 8,000 at a "Carnivale" concert in Mazatlán, Mexico, he has entertained thousands as principal male singer through Jean Ann Ryan Productions aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky.
The recipient of many vocal awards, Steven Jepson was the first to be awarded the Baughman Artistry Award at the Kansas City Metropolitan Opera Competition. He was named the Best Overall Singer by unanimous vote at the 2007 Millie Lewis AMTC Competition, the outstanding male performer at the 1996 Friedrich Schorr Vocal Competition and is a past winner of the Concerto/Aria competition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Iowa, a Master's Degree from Louisiana State University, and has completed post-graduate study at the UMKC Conservatory of Music. In demand as a teacher and clinician, he has served on the faculties of several outstanding colleges. He currently is on the faculty of the Gaston School of the Arts in the Piedmont of North Carolina and is an acting and vocal coach with Carolina Talent.
More information on Mr. Jepson can be found on his website, www.sbjsings.com.
Opera Carolina Performances:
Roméo et Juliette (2007–2008)
Pirates of Penzance (2006–2007)