Raoul Steffani is a Dutch baritone and recipient of the prestigious Grachtenfestival Prize 2018, the Elisabeth Evertsprijs 2016, and the Dutch Classical Talent Audience Award 2018. Since May 2021, Raoul has been a member of Equilibrium, the Young Artist Programme of Barbara Hannigan.
In the 2022-23 season, he makes his debut at Dutch National Opera in a new operetta production led by Lorenzo Viotti and staged by Steef de Jong. In the 2020-21 season, Raoul made his professional opera debut at the Opéra National de Lyon as Ramiro in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole as part of Lyon’s opera studio, after which he was invited to sing Ned Keene in Britten’s Peter Grimes in the Netherlands and again Ramiro at the Opéra de Toulon.
Other highlights of the upcoming season include Mozart aria concerts with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Frank Martin’s Ode à la musique with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, various St Matthew Passion concerts with the orchestra Phion (part: Jesus) led by Reinhard Goebel and with philharmonie zuidnederland (part: bass arias) led by Duncan Ward, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Residentie Orchestra led by Anja Bihlmaier. In previous seasons, he has worked with conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Vladimir Jurowsky, Sigiswald Kuijken, Otto Tausk, Jos van Veldhoven, and David Zinman. Orchestras with whom he has worked, include the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orchestra The Hague, Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Camerata RCO, Camerata Salzburg, Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, philharmonie zuidnederland, Phion and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
Highlights of last season include Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Ensemble Domestica (musicians from the Rotterdam Philharmonic) and an international tour of Bach’s Johannes Passion (part: Jesus) with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment led by Mark Padmore.
Since the early days of his career, Raoul Steffani has been a dedicated recitalist with a great passion for the art song repertoire. He has given song recitals for Oxford Lieder Festival, International Lied Festival Zeist, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, among other venues. This season, he performs Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with soprano Laetitia Gerards and pianist Daan Boertien at numerous venues in the Netherlands. He will also return to the Concertgebouw’s Recital Hall for two solo recitals. He has recorded two Lieder albums for Challenge Classics with pianist Gerold Huber: Love’s Spring (2021), dedicated to Robert and Clara Schumann, includes songs and duets with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená. For his debut album Deep in a dream, that includes early works by Schumann, Grieg, Sibelius and Berg, he received much critical acclaim from the international press; “This is all first-rate, refined singing with lucid diction, elegant technique, and a palpable affinity for what he is singing.” (American Record Guide, 2018) In October 2022, Alpha Records releases the album Sehnsucht, featuring Barbara Hannigan, Camerata RCO and Raoul Steffani, which includes Raoul’s performance of Berg’s Vier Gesänge Opus. 2 in a new orchestration.
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.
Barbara Hannigan, soprano / Raoul Steffani, baritone / Camerata RCO led by Rolf Verbeek
In Sehnsucht, Barbara Hannigan sings Alban Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder and the final part of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, whereas Raoul Steffani performs Berg’s Vier Gesänge, Op. 2. All these works are presented in special arrangements for chamber ensemble. Release date: 21 October 2022.
Raoul Steffani, baritone / Magdalena Kožená, mezzo-soprano / Gerold Huber, piano
A programme devoted to both Robert and Clara Schumann and the musical dialogue that blossomed between them during the early years of their married life, through their poems and song compositions.
Raoul Steffani, baritone / Gerold Huber, piano
Baritone Raoul Steffani’s CD debut is a collection of early songs by major Lieder composers Schumann, Grieg, Sibelius and Berg, with pianist Gerold Huber.