Mezzo-soprano, Janelle DeStefano, enjoys the entire gamut of classical singing, from opera and oratorio to recital and chamber music. Praised for her “passionate delivery” and “rich seamless voice,” she has rendered dramatic performances in such diverse concert works as the Monteverdi Vespers, Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Mahler's Fourth Symphony, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Zeisl’s Hebrew Requiem, Szymanowsky’s Stabat Mater and the U.S. premier of Peter Eötvös, Schiller: Energische Schoenheit. Of her performances in the Bach B minor Mass, Stage and Cinema called it “saving the best for last,” and raved that “DeStefano soared into the heavens during her performance of the Agnus Dei.” DeStefano has been featured in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Jacaranda Music at the Edge; El Mundo; Bach Collegium San Diego; the Los Angeles Master Chorale; and the Grammy Award Winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Operatic roles include Romeo in I Capuletti e i Montecchi; Dido in Dido and Aeneas; Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen.
Ms. DeStefano can be heard as “Linda” and “Lenore” on the recent release of Mark Abel’s new opera, Home is a Harbor on the Delos Label. Earlier recordings include The Dream Gallery: Seven California Portraits by Mark Abel; as well as recordings with the Grammy®-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale, including Festival of Carols, Górecki: Miserere (Decca); and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2014 recording of Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary (Deutsche Grammophon).
A personal interest in zarzuela and Spanish art song led to Ms. DeStefano’s European debut as part of the 2007 International Festival of Interpretation of Spanish Song in Granada, Spain, as well as a featured performance in the Spanish art song concert series for the 2008 Mannes Summer Institute in New York City. Her appearances with the Grammy®-nominated early music ensemble, El Mundo for the San Diego Early Music Society and the Da Camera Society received critical acclaim. Ms. DeStefano’s portrayal of the gypsy, Maria, in La Alegria de la Huerta at the Jarvis Zarzuela Festival (available on DVD) was hailed as the "pick of the Chueca" by Zarzuela.net. Most recently, she was featured with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and LA Flamenco in performances of Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares and El amor brujo.
Ms. DeStefano graduated with honors from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, earning a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance. A passionate teacher, she has taught voice for more than two decades at collegiate and community music schools including USC Thornton School of Music, UC Santa Cruz, the University of San Diego, and Grossmont College, as well as her own private voice studio. She is currently on the voice faculty at Santa Monica College as well as Chapman University.