Stephen Miles was born in London and he aspired to a life in the arts after taking part in operas at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as a child.
After teenage years in amateur productions and a full school music programme, he went on to study voice at the Royal College of Music. Graduating with Honours in 1979, he was then engaged to perform much of the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire in concerts and productions throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
Other productions in this country include THE DANCING YEARS (Ceruti), JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Jesus) and, in the West End, CAMELOT (Sir Lionel) and CATS (Vocal Booth). In addition, operatic roles include ARNALTA (The Coronation of Poppea), BOB BOLES (Peter Grimes), MONOSTATOS (Magic Flute), FERRANDO (Cosi Fan Tutte), DON JOSE (Carmen) and TURRIDU (Cavalleria Rusticana).
He has worked for Kent Opera, The Royal Opera, Festival d’Aix en Provence, Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Opera de Lyon, Garsington Festival Opera, De Vlaamse Opera, Les Arts Florissants, the Boston Camerata, The English Concert, Music Theatre Ulster and New Sadlers Wells Opera.
Concerts have taken Stephen around the world with a varied repertoire including REQUIEM (Ligeti), REQUIEM (Verdi), GURRELIEDER and MOSES UND AARON (Schoenberg), SINFONIA and CORO (Berio), THE SEASONS (Holliger), MESSIAH (Handel), and Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY in Zurich and the finale to FIDELIO performed at the United Nations 50th anniversary concert in Geneva, both under Sir Georg Solti. Favourite among these is the tour of the ST MATTHEW PASSION for The English Concert, conducted by Trevor Pinnock, during the Bach anniversary year of 2000 with concerts given in The Canary Islands, Spain, Germany, Austria, Turkey and Japan. This was reprised at the Proms in the summer of 2002.
In 2006 he joined the ranks of “monks” that perform for the German group GREGORIAN. Engagements have included a tour of Russia, and concerts in a medieval castle near Vienna filmed for DVD release and broadcast on American PBS TV. He also took part in the recording of Sir Paul McCartney’s oratorio ECCE COR MEUM and sang in its first performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
For five years until 2007, Stephen worked as an artist agent with Talent Artists Ltd. In this time, he represented singers, dancers, actors, conductors, composers and choreographers in musical theatre, plays, opera, television and film. This time provided Stephen with valuable experience in connecting with people at all levels of production and performance. In addition to exploring avenues of artistic experience for clients, he had to deal with contract negotiations and payments, and also to provide friendly advice for those who professional lives were his concern.
Stephen has spent his whole life as a church singer including seven years as a member of the choir of the GUARDS ROYAL MILITARY CHAPEL.
In moving to Norfolk, he left behind his role as a Gentleman of the Choir at THE QUEEN’S CHAPEL OF THE SAVOY after ten years service. He has also regularly performed as the Earl of Essex at the HATFIELD HOUSE TUDOR EVENINGS and at the Dunstable LIVING HISTORY events. In 2007 he took part in LE PASSION DE SIMONE (Saariaho) for the London Barbican’s New Crowned Hope Festival, the LIGETI REQUIEM for the 2007 Lucerne Summer Festival and the 2008 summer tour of Germany with GREGORIAN. He also performed a cabaret concert at Gresham’s School for its IN PRAISE OF AUDEN festival.
From 2007, he sang for two years with the Norwich Cathedral Choir and continues regularly to give recitals and concerts in the Norfolk area, mainly for charitable causes.
Stephen is now passing on his wide experience and has created a teaching practice for voice users of all types, ages and abilities (see tuition page).
He has also honed his skills as an organiser, having brought together various performers for special occasions and public events which he has devised. He now serves on the committee of the Association of English Speakers & Singers (AESS) and co-ordinates both the Senior and Intermediate Prizes, The Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition and the Courtney Kenny Award. Visit: www.aofess.org.uk.
Since 2011, Stephen has branched into directing stage productions and has both designed and directed for North Norfolk Chamber Opera. Productions have included Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Britten’s Albert Herring and The Threepenny Opera by Brecht & Weill. He also lectures on opera appreciation, with talks so far entitled My Life Around Opera, The History of Opera, Tenorissimo! and The Life, Times & Artistry of Maria Callas.
As part of the 2013 Britten Centenary celebrations, Stephen took part in performances of the War Requiem in Shanghai and Beijing under Charles Dutoit with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
He was also the co-ordinator for the Bishop’s Prize for Music in the Norwich Diocese which ran for several years.
Stephen is currently part of the team that is promoting a Song for the Commonwealth for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons celebration. Visit: https://www.commonwealthresounds.com
Stephen is a member of The Association Of Teachers Of Singing www.aotos.org.uk
and a Fellow of the Guild of Musicians & Singers http://www.musiciansandsingers.org.uk
He is also a Trustee of the Norfolk Opera Trust.