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Recording Reviews

CD Reviews for Nostalgia

“Stephanie Houtzeel’s glamorous mezzo is put to stunning use in her recital, Nostalgia. The songs convey just that, each reflecting on a memory of place or mood. There are three worlds conjured up: Vienna (Mahler); New York (Ives); and Buenos Aires (Ginastera, López Burchardo, Guastavino and Piazzolla). Houtzeel is a member of the ensemble at the Vienna Staatsoper where she sings the major Strauss and Mozart roles amongst others, and it’s easy to see why her career has taken off. Her voice is sumptuous, evenly produced, plush right to the top. She sings confidently in English, German and Spanish and her range of vocal colours is wonderful. She is sassy in Ives’ ‘Ann Street’, luscious in Mahler’s ‘Icht atmet’ einen Lindenduft’, and slinks her way through the Argentinean numbers with judicious portamenti and rhythmic exactitude, but relaxed enough to enjoy the moment. Her accompanist is Charles Spencer, who matches her mood for mood and indulges her sophisticated sense of rubato.”- Opera Now

 

“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

CD Reviews for Armide

“The stars of this set, the mezzo Stephanie Houtzeel and tenor Robert Getchell, are excellent. She has plenty of character to her tone, sings with nice ferocity in her second-act 'Enfin il est en ma puissance,' charm in the fifth-act love duet, and both resignation and fury in her final number. The voice is substantial, and while she never resorts to chest voice, a good snarl occasionally slips out." – Classics Today

 

A new American edition presents Lully’s sorceress in a fresh light- ….To equal Guillemette Laurens’s passionate Armide and Howard Crook’s Renaud is a formidable challenge but, even so, Stephanie Houtzeel and Robert Getchell deliver sensitive and characterful interpretations, and do not disappoint in the big monologues and the Act 5 duet.- Gramophone Magazine

CD Reviews for Handel Cantatas

"...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

 

“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.” – ClassicsToday

 

Stephanie Houtzeel's Complete Recordings