Known for his remarkable track record of spotting and nurturing young singing talent, Maestro Lord was named by Opera News magazine in 2006 as one of the “25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera” (one of only four conductors on that list). Now an internationally regarded conductor, he first joined Opera Theatre as Head of Music Staff in 1980; he was named Artistic Advisor to the General Director in 1983 and Music Director in 1991. After making his conducting debut with OTSL in 1986, his career led him to conducting engagements at leading opera houses around the world, including the Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, New York City Opera, Seoul Arts Centre, L’Opéra de Montréal, and many others. He returns to the English National Opera in February 2016 to lead its Christopher Alden production of Norma with Marjorie Owens, and will later conduct another Norma production with Sondra Radvanovsky and Russell Thomas for the Canadian Opera Company in October 2016.
Maestro Lord made his conducting debut at OTSL in 1986, and has since led significant OTSL productions including La rondine (2015), Sweeney Todd (2012), Pelléas and Mélisande (2011), A Little Night Music (2010), Salome (2009), I puritani (2007), Street Scene (2006), Lucia di Lammermoor (2002), Káťa Kabanová (1998), and Candide (1994).
Maestro Lord has worked with many Opera Theatre young artists who have gone on to significant careers, including Lawrence Brownlee, Morris Robinson, Corinne Winters, Jamie Barton, Patricia Racette, Sheri Greenawald, Paul Groves, Nathan Gunn, Ailyn Pérez, and Anthony Griffey. Other notable engagements on behalf of OTSL include bringing Donald Palumbo into the company for ten seasons as chorus master, as well as engaging conductors Robert Spano and Emmanuel Villaume early in their careers. As Anne Midgette wrote in the Washington Post, the “strategy in St. Louis is to cultivate new talent — something at which Stephen Lord…is particularly adept.”