2020 Honored Artist of The American Prize for Artistic Excellence
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
As a performer, the soprano has distinguished herself as an artist of great versatility. In addition to being the recipient of national awards such as the 2020 Honored Artist of The American Prize for outstanding contributions to the arts, and the Johnny Mercer Award, Steyer has received acclaim for her portrayals of the title role in Madama Butterfly and Violetta in La Traviata. Since 2000, she has sung as a chorister and in several small roles in over 40 productions at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
A frequent recitalist, Steyer sang several concerts of Russian and American music with pianist Philip Morehead and concerts of Spanish music with guitarist Brandon Acker. In 2019 Steyer sang in France with The Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion at the Montpellier Opera House, Paris' Salle Olympe de Gouges and the Lapin Agile. Last year, she sang at the Schubert Festival at Unity Temple, in Oak Park, where Steyer shared the stage with Lawrence Brownlee and members of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestras, and a recital at The 19th Century Club Music of Hope and Healing. Steyer was recently featured on WFMT’s program Music Notes: Music of Healing and Peace singing the aria “Red is a Trick” from the new opera Future Perfect. This April Steyer will premiere the role of the Rio de Janeiro Health Care Worker in the new opera On Call: COVID-19.
As a music advocate, Steyer has brought classical music to 23,000 youth in underserved areas with her organization, Bellissima Opera Outreach. She collaborates with other professional musicians to create new works on relevant, contemporary themes. She and composer Jean-Claude Orfali are writing a book of original cabaret songs. Steyer’s songbook, Six Songs for Soprano, was written with several musicians including David Shenton.
In 2014 Steyer, as librettist, and Shenton, as composer, began writing Bellissima Opera’s Tales of Transcendence: a series of new operas exploring our shared humanity. The first, On Call: COVID-19, honoring healthcare workers, will premiere online in April. The second, Future Perfect, co-created with 1300 local students, will have its Chicago premiere in 2022.
Additionally, Steyer is the President of the new arts alliance, Working in Concert as well as the Artistic Director of one of its initiatives: Bellissima Opera.
Steyer teaches voice privately in Oak Park and is an adjunct faculty member at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois.
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