Capriccio – C5262
Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Houtzeel and pianist Charles Spencer take the listener on an unusual journey from Argentina to New England to Vienna, inviting you to experience nostalgia, as it is encapsulated in the tango rhythms of Piazzolla, or the folksongs and hymn tune references of Ives or the waltzing sentimentality of Mahler. The program moves fluidly between the different styles and composers, always connected by this one overriding theme.
(Handel: Italian Love Cantatas and Chamber Music)
Houtzeel, Bouts Ensemble (performers)
Raumklang Label RK2101.
“While this isn’t exactly a ‘new release,’ it’s worthy of mention just in case you may have missed these performances by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Houtzeel. Her absolutely ravishing vocalism here deserves attention by all who love singing, and especially great Handel singing…prize-winning Houtzeel shows her extraordinary range of expressive powers, her technical prowess, and the distinctive character of her voice, from its rich and full lower tones to the brilliance of her upper register. Runs spin out with ease while phrasing and transitional passages flow naturally and artfully.”
"...the playing is lively and altogether rewarding. Houtzeel herself, endowed with a rich mezzo voice and secure technique, tears into the vocal works with a passionate intensity that is perfectly fitting...this release places high in its category of Handel recordings."
- The American Record Guide, July/August 2002
Houtzeel, Monoyios, Dubrow; Getchell,
Loup, Sharp, Boutté; Opera Lafayette, Brown
Stephanie Houtzeel sings the title role on the new Naxos recording of Armide by Jean-Baptiste Lully. With the outstanding musicians of Opera Lafayette, conducted by Ryan Brown, and an exceptional cast and chorus, this exciting new release is due out in October, 2008.
"[Ryan] Brown led his small, supple orchestra and sweetly blended chorus with authority, dramatic intensity and welling musicianship."
"...[Armide] was sung with all the ardor, intelligence and vocal luster at Houtzeel's command, which was plenty. This was the sort of daring, impassioned performance that can make a career: I hope to hear much more from Houtzeel, and soon."
- THE WASHINGTON POST
Houtzeel, Antonic; Bauer, Scheschareg, Adler; Orchestra and Chorus of the Franz Lehár Festival, Bad Ischl
Praxmarer. CPO 777 202 (2)
“Here, finally, is Franz von Suppé's 1876 operetta Fatinitza in a complete recording. Suppé's first full-length hit, this Russo–Turkish fantasy set during the Crimean War was one of the most successful of all Viennese operettas, popular all over Europe and America, until the advent of The Merry Widow (and her sisters).....in Stephanie Houtzeel, the role of Wladimir/Fatinitza is wonderfully, brilliantly taken. Her spirit and charm are readily in evidence, whether pining for Wladimir's lost love in Act I or, in a particularly racy Act II sextet, revealing to the harem girls that she is a he...”
- OPERA NEWS