Capriccio – C5262
“The best of the new Capriccio recitals comes from the smoky-voiced German-American Mezzo Stephanie Houtzeel, new to me, and a real find on this showing. Her programme ingeniously mixes Mahler and Ives with a clutch of Argentinian songs...Her Ives is beautifully judged - 'The Housatonic at Stockbridge' is deeply touching - and the Argentinian songs are done with a depth of sensual feeling that is utterly beguiling. Spencer, as accompanist of choice for so many singers, is at his most persuasive here too.”
- Gramophone UK
“This is a delightful and unexpected programme of largely twentieth century music of great beauty. Listen, for example to the very first piece, Ginastera's Canción al arbol del olvido and there is an immediate sense of great artistry, but no distortion of an underlying simplicity. Great artistry in performance brings out what is in the music, not pulling it about for some imposed effect. That sensitivity is the hallmark of Stephanie Houtzeel's approach to all the music in this first recital.”
- Nostalgia featured as Recording of the Month
at Musik Web International
(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