One of the most remarkable Dutch singers of his generation, baritone Raoul Steffani was recently praised by Opernwelt as singing “fresh and lyrically clear, with a sensitive interpretation, from an intelligent theatrical distance.” Raoul is a recipient of the Elisabeth Evertsprijs 2016, the Dutch Classical Talent Audience Award 2018 and the Grachtenfestival Prize 2018.
In the 2020/21 season, Raoul will be a member of the Studio de L’Opéra National de Lyon led by acclaimed tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, where he will debut the role of Ramiro in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole – a role that he will sing in future seasons at a.o. Opéra de Toulon. Upcoming roles include Ned Keene (Peter Grimes) at Opera op het Wad, among other roles to be announced.
His performed roles include Eisenstein as well as Falke (Die Fledermaus), Papageno (Die Zauberföte), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas). He is in high demand as an oratorio soloist, with his repertoire including Bach St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, Mozart Requiem, Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, Oratorio de Noël by Saint-Säens, Handel Messiah and Orff Carmina Burana.
For his debut album Deep in a dream with pianist and song specialist Gerold Huber, he recently received much critical acclaim: “This is an exceptionally fine debut recording for an already well-developed singer.” (American Record Guide) In autumn 2021, Challenge Records will release his second Lieder album with Gerold Huber, dedicated to Robert and Clara Schumann
As an active recitalist, he regularly performs at concert halls in the Netherlands including the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw a/h IJ, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht led by Janine Jansen and Música en Segura in Spain. He is a returning guest and ambassador of the International Lied Festival Zeist and he often appears on Dutch national radio and television. He has already made his recital debut at major concert halls such as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and in various series at the Megaron Concert Hall in Athens and in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Spain, Hamburg, Paris, Munich and Vienna.
Past highlights include his artistic residency at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam in 2019, where he performed alongside Pekka Kuusisto and the Camerata of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at the prestigious Prinsengrachtconcert, broadcasted live on national TV. He sang as a soloist under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, Vladimir Jurowsky, David Zinman, Sigiswald Kuijken, Ed Spanjaard, Jos van Veldhoven, Anthony Hermus and Enrico Delamboye, among others. Among the orchestras he performed with, are the Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Camerata RCO, Camerata Salzburg, Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, philharmonie zuidnederland, PHION and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra.
Raoul studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and at the conservatories of Amsterdam and Tilburg, from which he graduated summa cum laude. He continues working with his longtime vocal coach Margreet Honig and participated in masterclasses with Thomas Hampson, Christa Ludwig, Dame Felicity Lott and Elly Ameling. From 2016 to 2018 he was a member of the Dutch National Opera Academy, where he debuted the role of Guglielmo (Così fan tutte). Besides his vocal studies, Raoul studied Swedish language and culture at the University of Amsterdam.