A graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, Stephanie comes to the directing profession with the experience of a former career as a professional singer. As a singer, Stephanie has worked in solo performance in diverging musical arenas with such luminaries as Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Van Dyke Parks, John Adams, and Ry Cooder, Sir Peter Hall, and Gordon Davidson. Her voice has been featured in film and commercials. A recipient of the Chanel Diva Award, Stephanie is best known in Los Angeles for her work as an opera singer with L.A. Opera in roles such as Nicklausse in Tales of Hoffmann and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has sung internationally in a number of critically-acclaimed performances of operas and concerts such as John Adams’ Nixon in China and was featured narrator for the premier of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Goblin Market with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
In addition to her classical engagements, Stephanie established herself as a recognized performance artist earning the monicker of “the moonlighting Diva” by the Associated Press for her direction of and performances in cabaret-influenced showcases devoted to the music of European cabaret and music hall. Although best known as a Kurt Weill interpreter, her whimsical tribute to our love of film noir, The Gangster Hour, was hailed by Variety as a “Cotton Club meets the Maltese Falcon…but what really sells is Vlahos and her incredible voice…” Her cabarets have been performed in the States and in Europe, most notably a sold-out concert tour in Greece where she also starred in a film by acclaimed Greek film director, Nicholas Triandafyllidis, entitled, Mavro Gala. Stephanie’s experience as a performer as well as her background in theater have lead her to her keen interest in directing where she regards herself as a performer’s director. Recent projects include Tristan and Isolde with Othalie Graham and Jeffrey Springer at the Broad Theater, Tosca with Intimate Opera, Tales of Hoffmann and Cendrillon with the Cole Conservatory Opera Institute at Cal State Long Beach, The Magic Flute at the Luckman Theater, and Oliver! at the Alex Theater. Alan Rich of the LA Weekly wrote of her production of Street Scene “…a lively, beautifully staged, stark and vigorous facsimile of both drama and music…”
Stephanie is currently Artistic Director for OPERA POSSE, directing a critically-acclaimed production of Amahl and the Night Visitors with Suzanna Guzman at the Pasadena Playhouse which just received a StageScene LA Award for Best Opera 2010. A passionate advocate of outreach, Stephanie established the Full Circle Opera Project at the LA County High School for the Arts; a unique experience in opera for teens, hailed by the L.A. Board of Supervisors as “groundbreaking.” It is a proud recipient of a grant from the Thornton Foundation.
Stephanie is currently theater coach and stage director for the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist’s Program at LA Opera as well as Director-In-Residence at the Cole Conservatory Opera Institute at Cal State Long Beach. In 2007, Stephanie was among 30 other artists, nationwide, to be nominated for the prestigious United States Artists Grant in directing.