While still in her twenties, Stacey Tappan became widely regarded as one of the most promising sopranos of her generation, and in the ensuing years expectations were met with acclaimed debuts at the Houston Grand Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Bangkok Opera, Ravinia Festival, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and other prestigious venues. On recordings she has scored similar success, most notably as the Wren in Braunfels' The Birds and Beth in Mark Adamo's Little Women. But her repertory ranges from Despina in Mozart's Cosí fan tutte and Nanetta in Verdi's Falstaff to Adele in Strauss II's Die Fledermaus and Mabel in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. Her operatic roles also take in Monteverdi, Wagner, Massenet, Nino Rota, and many others. In concert fare she has sung the Seraph in Beethoven's Christ on the Mount of Olives and appeared in performances of Mahler's Second, Fourth, and Eighth symphonies. In addition, Tappan has sung little-known recital repertory such as songs by Schreker and Zemlinsky. Critics agree her voice is beautiful: Tappan is a lyric soprano with a bright, angelic sound that can produce ample power to soar above orchestral fortes. Her recordings are available from ArtHaus Musik, Naxos, and Ondine.
Stacey Tappan was born in Boston, MA, on June 13, 1973. Raised in Pasadena, CA, she studied voice on scholarship at Chapman University (1991-1995). She also earned scholarships for vocal studies at the Manhattan School of Music (1995-1997) and Juilliard (1997-1999).
While at Juilliard she became a member of the Juilliard Opera Center. Tappan also took part in training programs at the Santa Fe Opera (1997), Opera Theatre of St. Louis (1999), and Wolf Trap Opera (2000).
Part of Tappan's training in these programs involved serving as an understudy in such roles as the Fiakermilli in Richard Strauss' Arabella (Santa Fe; 1997) and Leila in Bizet's The Pearl Fishers (St. Louis; 1999).
Tappan's major debut was her protrayal of Beth in Little Women at the Houston Grand Opera in March 2000, a performance broadcast over PBS television in 2001 and released on an Ondine CD that same year. The performance would also be issued on a Naxos DVD in 2010.
Tappan debuted at the Chicago Lyric Opera in 2002 as the First Esquire in Wagner's Parsifal. That same year she appeared there as Papagena in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. A string of prestigious debuts followed: Michigan Opera Theatre as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (2004), Glyndebourne Festival as Adele in Die Fledermaus (2006), and Los Angeles Opera as Virtù and Pallade in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea.
In 2008 Tappan debuted in France when she sang Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto at the Opéra de Lille. That same year she appeared in an acclaimed Los Angeles Philharmonic concert performance of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Wing on Wing. She was invited back for a second performance of the work in 2009. In 2011 Tappan sang much Wagner at the San Francisco Opera, portraying Woglinde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, and the Woodbird in Siegfried.