2018 Winner of The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award
2014 - 3rd Place Winner of The American Prize - Schorr Memorial Award in Art Song
2013 Winner of The Hawaii Public Radio Art Song Contest
2012 Winner of The American Prize Chicago Opera Award
2011 Winner of The American Prize - Schorr Memorial Award in Art Song
2011 Winner of The Johnny Mercer Award
2011 Bronze Medal Winner The American Traditions Competition
Soprano Christine Steyer is an American soprano and vocal instructor living in the Chicagoland area. She has worked with many of the finest musicians and conductors of her day including Sir Andrew Davis, Philip Morehead, Donald Palumbo, Martin Wright, David Shenton and Isola Jones. Christine has performed roles with companies including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Tulsa Opera, Chicago Chamber Opera, DuPage Opera, and has performed as a soloist with the Billings Symphony, the Rockford Symphony and recently the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Christine has been highly praised for her artistry and her voice has been described as “an international-calibre voice of size and color used to reach an audience's emotional core.” A recent review of her portrayal in the title role of Madama Butterfly by Loosefilter writes “Steyer’s rendition of Butterfly was notable for gorgeous, satisfying vocal production from top to bottom, consummate musicianship, and charming stage presence. For me, what made her performance completely convincing and satisfying was her ability to project an enormous range of emotions in her singing and acting with minimal theatricality.”
Christine has distinguished herself as artist of great versatility. She is the recipient of national performance awards including Classical Singer Award, The Altamura Caruso International Award, The Chicago Opera Award, The American Prize in Art Song and The Johnny Mercer Award and The Hawaii Public Radio Award.
Christine received critical acclaim for her operatic portrayals of the Marschallin from Der Rosenkavalier, the title role in Madama Butterfly and Violetta in La Traviata. She has performed roles with Lyric Opera of Chicago in Street Scene, Sweeney Todd, Cunning Little Vixen and Manon Lescaut. Other opera roles include Frasquita in Carmen and Pamina in The Magic Flute with Tulsa Opera, Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium and Abigail in The Crucible with Chamber Opera Chicago. Recently, Christine premiered the role of The Concert Singer and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion: The Musical with Chamber Opera Chicago on their 5-year summer tour of the England and Scotland. In the last year, she sang in Lyric Opera's Les Troyens, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with South Bend Lyric Opera and Lady Liberty in Johnny Johnson with Chicago Folks Operetta
Christine’s recent concert engagements include Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne, Poulenc Gloria, the Brahms Requiem and Carmina Burana, Beethoven's 9th, Rossini’s Petite Mass, Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Mozart’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Cantata 42, Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate.
A frequent recitalist, Christine sang concerts of Russian and American music with pianist Philip Morehead and most recently Spanish music with classical guitarist Brandon Acker. In 2016 Steyer had the honor of singing for the Cuban Ambassador Dr. José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez on his Chicago tour and in 2017 was the featured artist for the American Opera Society of Chicago Annual Gala.
Christine can be heard on the CD “Caroline Myss’ Voice of the Sacred” produced by SoundsTrue – a sampling of 400 years of sacred music. Steyer frequently performs her one-woman show, “So, You Want to Be a Diva?” a cabaret style show combining singing and storytelling.
Christine is a music advocate and seeks many innovative ways to keep classical vocal music alive and relevant in today's world. Steyer is the Founder and Artistic Director of Bellissima Opera and is currently heading The Transcendence Triptych – three new operas celebrating those transcending the human divide. Since 2008, she brought music to over 20,000 students, often in under-served communities with Bellissima Opera Outreach, an organization she helped create.
A proponent of new works, Christine collaborated with poets and musicians to compose the songbook “Six Songs for Soprano”. She has commissioned and premiered several new works for soprano that combine contemporary American poetry with music - most recently the poetry of Charlie Rossiter and Maureen Kwiat Meshenberg set by composers David Shenton and Stuart Leitch, respectively.
Christine received and BA in Art from Knox College and a BM and MM in Music from The University of Illinois. She is an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Concordia University in River Forest, IL and has a private voice studio in Oak Park.
Recent Press Quotes
"In particular, Christine Steyer’s rendition of Cio-Cio San was notable for gorgeous, satisfying vocal production from top to bottom, consummate musicianship, and charming stage presence. However, for me, what made her performance completely convincing and satisfying was her ability to project an enormous range of emotions in her singing and acting with minimal theatricality. The Butterfly role is so well known there is an inherent danger that any interpretation will almost seem to be a cliché of others we have heard unless it obviously attempt to deviate from the norm. Steyer’s version did not need to resort to any manipulative ploys for our sympathy because her emotional presence came across as absolutely honest and heartfelt. From the first notes wafting from off stage at her first entrance, we sensed her deep understanding of Cio-Cio San’s innocence and loveliness, vulnerability and sadness, and believed her completely from that moment on. By the end of the opera, we shared her devastating pain as personally and directly as if she were someone we knew as intimately as family."
Professor of Music www.loosefilter.com