Baritone’s voice exceeds concert hall
2/12/03 The Herald-Times, Peter Jacobi
“An extended scene from Traviata brought a talented student, Stephanie Dawn Johnson, to the stage.  She and Kuroda performed the dramatic moment in act two when the heroine, Violetta, agrees to sacrifice her love for Alfredo at the urgent request of his father, the elder Germont.  Vocally, they made a believable team that effectively served Verdi’s highly emotional score.”

FIU's new conductor pulls orchestra's performance up to higher notch
11/18/02 The Miami Herald, James Roos
“Ralph Vaughan Williams' 1936 cantata Donna Nobis Pacem, a serene paean to peace, had the blessing of Stephanie Dawn Johnson's creamy soprano…”

This La Boheme like amateur night
11/03/02 The Providence Journal, Channing Gray
“Stephanie Dawn Johnson, as the shy, consumptive Mimi, threw herself into the role, singing with confidence and feeling.”

Opera Comes to Stanford
10/24/02 The Stanford Review, Ming Zhu
“The musical side was also a delightful treat. Stephanie Dawn Johnson's rich chocolate voice lent depth to the formidable role of Mimi…” “…the show was artistically moving and musically flawless.”

Winners concert a winner for young opera singers
4/30/02 Palm Beach Post, Sharon McDaniel

“Dramatic soprano Stephanie Dawn Johnson, 29, with magnetic presence, vocal urgency and infectious joy won second place with the Jewel Song (Gounod’s Faust)--up from seventh place in last year’s advanced division.”

Duke’s Don Giovanni: A Class Act
4/02 Classical Voice
North Carolina , Elizabeth Kahn
“[As] Donna Elvira…her ariosi were stunningly musical and dramatic.”

Poor lover triumphs in “The Bartered Bride”
2/26/02 Indiana Daily Student, Gabriel Lewin
“Stephanie Dawn Johnson as the ingénue Marenka had a lovely soprano…her tone was always crystal and her phrasing was varied so that it was always interesting to hear.”

Western Opera Theatre’s ‘Cosi’ a stylish, confident production at Phil
11/17/01 Naples Daily News, Corinne Dunne
“In Western Opera Theatre production, every one of the singing actors in the young cast demonstrated polish and skill in their command of vocal character and style.” “Soprano Stephanie Dawn Johnson as Fiordiligi and mezzo-soprano Valerie Komar as Dorabella oozed charm and sang quite beautifully.”

Women compelling in finely balanced ‘Don Giovanni’
3/11/01 The Indianapolis Star, Whitney Smith

“It’s unquestionably women who keep the leading man in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni going.  Women also keep Indianapolis Opera’s Don Giovanni production interesting this weekend at Clowes Hall.” “One of the most lasting impressions of Stephanie Dawn Johnson’s Donna Anna in this production may be her collapse on the floor after the Commendatore’s death, but she is no pushover.  There’s fire in Anna’s voice when she discovers Giovanni was the killer.”

IO's Don Giovanni
Tom Aldridge
Soprano Stephanie Dawn Johnson's Donna Anna was the best sung female role. Her projection of anguish in her early dramatic duet with her betrothed Don Ottavio, "Fuggi, crudelle, fuggi!" was palpable. And her promise of vengeance in her later aria, "Or sai chi l'onore" was most believable. On the other hand she handled the wistfulness and the ensuing vocal pyrotechnics in her late Act II aria, "Non mi dir," with excellent finesse.”

2/3/01 WFIU, George Walker
“Stephanie Johnson was both moving and pathetic as the deranged Marguérite.”

Music, casts shine in latest ‘Faust’
2/7/01 The Herald-Times, Peter Jacobi

“Stephanie Johnson was Saturday’s Marguerite.  Her soprano revealed plenty of flexibility and lyricism…” “She remains a most promising singer, and she managed to infuse the role with personality and veracity.”

Opera double feature delights
3/17/99 Indianapolis , Charles Epstein
“The excellent performers put forth an abundance of energy and prep, making the opera more palatable.” “Others in the large cast who were outstanding were Stephanie Dawn Johnson as Lauretta…”

Murder, he wrote, as epilogue to Puccini tale
2/28/99 The Indianapolis Star, Charles Staff
“The English-language production is one big smile in one short act, thanks to baritone Robert Orth’s portrayal of the rascal, Gianni:  soprano Stephanie Johnson’s singing of the comedy’s one show stopper, O mio Babbino Caro; and Michael Scarola’s freewheeling stage direction.” “Besides Orth and Johnson, the best vocal work was turned in by tenor Yves Saelens as Rinuccio…”

11/98 Opera, Charles H. Parsons
“Ecstatic standing ovations greeted the first
Cincinnati performance of Jenufa (July 9)… persuasively sung, dramatically overwhelming…  The minor character roles were well realized.”

11/98 Opera News, Charles H. Parsons
“…the performances approached perfection…  Smaller roles were well sung and finely characterized…”

Casts perform well, despite difficulty of Mozart’s work
11/18/98 The Herald-Times, Peter Jacobi
“The evening’s Ilia and Electra were crowd pleasers, and deservedly so…  Daunting vocal intricacies appeared to pose little problem for Stephanie Johnson, the evening’s red-wigged Electra, the dark character of the plot who ends up without someone to satisfy her romantic desires.  Johnson is a most promising young artist with drama welded to her voice.”

Musical elements work, opera proves to be a success overall
2/3/98 The Herald-Times, Peter Jacobi
“The opening night cast was first-rate almost all the way up and down the line.  Someone in the audience put off by the stage picture could close his or her eyes and gain sufficient pleasure to make the evening worthwhile, even memorable.  One took note of the major arias that Mozart gave his characters.  Every one was sung with distinction, musically and to the topical or symbolic point…  Stephanie Johnson’s Countess gave the contemplative “Dove son,” all the necessary heartbreak to be found in a troubled partner of a marriage breaking down…  All of these singers melded into their roles and fused as musicians into the melodic web Mozart spun so tenaciously and yet so gorgeously.”

Unique modernized production of ‘Figaro’ successful
2/2/98 Indiana Daily Student, Nikolai Sadik-Ogli
“Stephanie Johnson beautifully executed the Countess’s lovely arias.”

Soprano Stephanie Johnson achieves success as Violetta
8/97 The Herald-Times,
Peter Jacobi
“First, one chooses the soprano.  There has to be the right one.  Granted a lot of non-consumptive-looking sopranos have sung the role of the courtesan Violetta since that occasion in 1853, and have done so successfully.  But the assumer of the part must somehow fit the role.
  And that’s where the opening night performance of the IU Opera Theater’s current production had a winner.” “…in Stephanie Johnson, this Traviata had a Violetta a listener and viewer could believe in…  she achieved the bearing and the dignity and the fragility and the innate goodness that mark a Violetta.  Fleeting joy and suffering suffused Johnson’s voice and manner.  She seemed to forget her own being and come to inhabit that of the heroine who has made this Verdi opera such a lasting favorite. Such an accomplishment for one so young is remarkable, but as every achieving soprano in this part must, Johnson entered into the character; she commanded both music and meaning.  Not even the double aria which ends act one appeared to cause her any problems.  Here Violetta first expresses her love for Alfredo, in the dramatically lyric manner that Verdi employs through most of the opera, then breaks into wild coloratura as she strives, unsuccessfully, to remind herself that falling in love is not for someone who has chosen a life of free abandon.  Johnson got through this tour de force ever so fluidly. She was no less successful during the heartbreak of sacrifice which dominates the second act.  Her voice throbbed with poignancy.  And she gave high drama to the closing act’s aria of regret and farewell, including Violetta’s reading of a letter telling her that Alfredo is returning, he having finally been made aware of her sacrifice, a sacrifice he previously believed was faithlessness.
Johnson was a splendid Violetta.”

Conductor Imre Pallo preparing for season of work
8/97 Sunday Herald-Times,
Peter Jacobi
“While Pallo and I talked, he reflected on the IU Opera Theater’s recent production of La Traviata.  “I felt good about it.  Stephanie Johnson made a first-rate Violetta…  Stephanie really caught the drama, the flow, the heartbeat.”

‘Don Giovanni’ closes
10/22/96 The Herald-Times, Peter Jacobi

“…Stephanie Johnson, as Donna Anna, and Caroline Worra, as Donna Elvira… were well-schooled and managed almost faultlessly the intricacies of the music Mozart reserved for these Giovanni abused ladies.  And the two possessors of these voices certainly sang and acted to the dramatic point.”


Copyright © 2002-2004 Stephanie Dawn Johnson