Chagrin Falls, Ohio, who attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and did
her postgraduate work at the University of Southern California. This afforded her opportunities to
perform Gilbert & Sullivan in tandem with the L.A. Philharmonic and
light up the stage at the Hollywood Bowl.
She went on to
play a variety of roles as a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia,
including a Danish lady and newspaper seller in Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice, Kate Pinkerton in Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and Xenia in Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov.
April 1989, she performed at a benefit for the Amercian
Institute of Musical Studies in a program that featured music by Georges
Bizet, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, and Richard Strauss.
She also fared
well in a handful of competitions, winning the Pavarotti competition, tying
for second place in the Montreal International Music Competition, and showing
at the Baltimore Opera International Vocal Competition.
February 1990, she performed the role of Dalinda
in George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante. A couple of months later, she was
the featured soprano in a performance of Handel’s Messiah with the Milwaukee Symphony
Chorus. In 1991, she was in a
production of Mozart’s The
Abduction of the Seraglio at the Buxton Opera Festival and Canterbury
She went solo
on 19th March 1993 in an evening of arias and songs by composers
ranging from Barber to Berlioz at Albright College’s Meridian Theatre
as a part of their Star series.
October, she sang the soprano bits of Mass for the Dead with the American
Chamber Opera Company.
In the winter
of 1996, she returned to relatively familiar territory, appearing as Polissena in Handel’s Radamisto at Opera de
Marseille. On 6th March
1998, she played Marguerite in the Dayton Opera’s production of Faust.
to Bonita Springs, Florida, in 2000, where she worked as a voice instructor
at the First Presbyterian Church Community Music School. In 2001, she wed architect Samuel
Vasquez and took his surname even though she is still popularly referred to
as Steffanie Pearce. In April 2002, she graced the
congregation at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church with a free recital that
showed off her versatile range, mixing in Broadway and film music,
liturgical music, and opera.
again in the fall of 2003, when she embodied Donna Anna in a Teatro Lirico D’Europa production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. On 21st November 2004,
she played The Countess in the Orpheum Theater’s mounting of Giacomo Rossini’s La Cenerentola.
Then she gave
the people of Naples, Florida, a gift.
In the fall of 2005, she announced the genesis of Opera Naples, with
whom she not only performs, but serves as Artistic Director. One of their first productions was
Puccini’s Tosca, with Steffanie in the title role. Opera Naples continued to expand and
purchased a 25-unit building in which to house their administrative and
educational efforts, as well as providing a rehearsal hall. In 2008, she starred in another
Opera Naples event, “Opera Stars under the Stars”, which was
held at Cambier Park. Opera Naples has become a fixture in
Floridian culture and musical education, and also operates The Opera Naples
Teen Summer Performing Camp, which has attacked ambitious projects such as
Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S.
Steffanie began an even more enormous undertaking: Motherhood. Do you think she loves opera? She named her daughter Aria.
The Philadelphia Singers recordings
Fidelis (Frederick Oakeley/John Francis Wade)
Soprano – Benita Valente
Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia