John Stephens

John Stephens
  • Professor of Voice
  • Voice & Opera

Contact Info

306 Murphy Hall
1530 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045-3103


D.M.A. University of Illinois; M.M. Northwestern University; B.M.E. Central Methodist College

John Stephens holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois and was a Fulbright Scholar in Hamburg, Germany. He received advanced training at the Juilliard School of Music, where he was a member of the American Opera Center. In addition to teaching voice and stage directing operas at KU, Mr. Stephens maintains a professional career as an opera and concert singer and stage director. He has sung leading roles with numerous companies including the Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, New Orleans Opera, Atlanta Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Opera Pacific, Orlando Opera, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, Cleveland Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera Omaha, Chautauqua Opera and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.  His professional directing credits include Le Nozze di Figaro, Faust, Don Pasquale, Werther, The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, the Yomen of the Guard, and Susannah.  As a concert soloist, he has sung with the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, the Orlando Symphony and at the J. F. Kennedy Center. For several years he was the principal bass soloist for the Bach Aria Group.

Stephens has recorded for Columbia Masterworks, Newport Classics, and the Musical Heritage Society. A recipient of the Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas, Professor Stephens' voice students have sung with the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Paris Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand opera, Portland Opera, The English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Ireland's Wexford Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Washington Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, Chautauqua Opera, the Tanglewood Festival, Aspen and others, as well as on Broadway and in numerous national tours. In addition, his students have taught at Florida State University, The University of Arizona, New York University, the North Carolina School of the Arts, The University of Connecticut, California State at Northridge, Wheaton College, Missouri State University, Wichita State University, Washington University,  S.E. Louisiana State, Liberty University, Davidson College, the University of Idaho, Baker University and others.