Stephen Varcoe is internationally renowned as a concert and recital singer. He has made over 150 recordings and has sung with orchestras in the UK, Europe, Japan and North America, working with conductors including Christie, Herreweghe, Knussen, Leonhardt, Norrington, Rifkin, Kuijken, Marriner and Malgoire. He has taken part in many BBC Proms concerts and festivals throughout the world, and appeared in recitals with Julius Drake, Graham Johnson and Iain Burnside.
Stephen worked with Jonathan Miller on his ground-breaking production of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in London, and in its revivals in New York. His operatic appearances include Haydn’s L’Infedelta Delusa in Antwerp, Debussy’s Fall Of The House Of Usher in Lisbon and London, Tavener's Mary Of Egypt in Snape, Peri’s Euridice in Drottningholm, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Japan. His repertoire also includes Death in Holst’s Savitri, Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Salieri in Rimsky Korsakov’s Mozart & Salieri.
Stephen’s first and greatest love is the song repertoire, and his long-standing relationship with Hyperion Records has produced many recital discs: with Graham Johnson he has recorded Hahn, Chabrier and Fauré and the second disc in his prestigious Schubert series. Finzi, Parry and Stanford with Clifford Benson, Gurney with Iain Burnside, and Armstrong Gibbs with Roger Vignoles are representative of his passionate commitment to English song.
In 2009 Stephen completed a PhD at the University of York on the Performance of Song, which has a direct bearing upon the work he does at the Royal College of Music. The practical knowledge of years as a professional singer, allied with the research he undertook for his thesis, makes him ideally suited to fulfil his teaching role.
In addition to his work at the RCM, he teaches at Clare College and at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, and gives lectures, masterclasses and seminars at other universities and colleges in the UK and overseas. Stephen has also written Sing English Song, a guide to performance and repertoire, and has contributed chapters to the Cambridge Companion to Singing and The New Percy Grainger Companion. Stephen is currently writing a book about the history and practice of song performance.
Faculties / departments: Vocal Studies