Described as having a “wonderfully controlled soprano voice” by Alex Ross of the New York Times and “an astonishing presence” by Jennifer de Poyen of the San Diego Union Tribune, Canadian soprano Stacey Fraser’s eclectic musical interests have led her to sing on international operatic, concert and theatre stages across the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe. She has appeared as a soloist for the San Diego Opera, the Tony Award winning La Jolla Playhouse, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Taipei National Concert Hall in Taiwan, ISCM Taiwan, the Musicasa Concert Hall in Tokyo, Japan, the Thailand Composition Festival, the Americké Jaro Festival in Prednasek, Czech Republic, Red Square Gallery Hong Kong, the Festival Eduardo Mata in Oaxaca, Mexico, Vancouver Symphony, Kazan Co-Op Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, South Dakota Symphony, La Jolla Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Banff Centre, Tanglewood Music Center, Asia Society NYC, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and the world renowned La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York City.
She has received critical acclaim from international papers including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego Theatre Scene, Sequenza 21, I care if you listen, The Whole Note and the Oltner Tagblatt for her performances in both standard and contemporary repertoire. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times described her rendition of Berio’s Sequenza III as “a seamless aria, sure of musical direction while missing none of the humor or the frightening shocks of horror.”
Recordings include a chamber music album of works by Asian and American composers entitled Lotusblume for the Viennese label, ein Klang records, Therigatha Inside Aura and Sprial XII by Chinary Ung for Bridge Records, Seven Epitaphs for soprano and clarinet by Barney Childs for Advance Recordings, Still Life After Death and Therigatha Inside Aura by Chinary Ung for Voices of the Pearl Vol. 3, Snowflakes, Blossoms : Friends of the Way by Marjorie Merryman for Voices of the Pearl Vol. 2 and the role of Lisinga on the premiere recording of Manuel del Pópulo Vicente Garcia’s opera Le Cinesi for Harmonicorde. A new film by critically acclaimed filmmaker Sandra Powers featuring Fraser singing composer Chinary Ung’s Still Life After Death premiered at the prestigious Sharjah Art Foundation Festival in the United Arab Emirates in 2019 and is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Recent notable performances include the title role in Peter Maxwell Davies’ Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot with Brightwork newmusic, a staged adaptation of Mathew Rosenblum’s Falling with Dancer/Choreographer Faith Jensen-Ismay and Brightwork newmusic for the Beyond 2020 Microtonal Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, a staged adaptation of Chinary Ung’s Still Life After Death for the lotusflower new music project, Frida in Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Concert Suite from Frida for Kazan Co-op Theatre, and Anna I in Kurt Weill’s Die Sieben Todsünden, for the lotusflower new music project. Current projects include The New Frontier and A Chaos Of Light and Motion by Jack Van Zandt with Grammy winning pianist Nadia Shpachenko, and a new opera by Pamela Madsen entitled Why Women Went West.
Past standard operatic roles Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Pamina in The Magic Flute for the San Diego Opera Ensemble, Erste Knaben in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, First Handmaiden in Puccini’s Turandot for the San Diego Opera, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario for South Dakota Symphony and the role of the Opera Singer in Paris Commune for La Jolla Playhouse. During her tenure at San Diego Opera as an Ensemble member, she understudied the roles of Marzelline in Fidelio, Suzanne in Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin and Léila in Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs des Perles. Oratorio highlights include the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Vancouver Symphony, the soprano soloist in Bernstein’s Kaddish and Eva in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with La Jolla Symphony, and soprano soloist in both Mendelssohn’s Lobgesange and the Stravinsky Mass with the San Bernardino Symphony.
Stacey is dedicated to the performance of vocal works by modern Asian-American composers and is a long-time collaborator of Japanese composer Koji Nakano, past grand prize winner of the S & R Foundation award. Ms. Fraser has recorded Nakano’s Ancient Songs (2007) for solo voice as well as his chamber piece Time Song II, Howling through time for soprano, percussion, and flute (2006). Fraser gave the world premiere of Nakano’s new work for soprano entitled “Arigatoo” from the opera Spiritual Forest (2011) at the Kennedy Center and the Asian premiere at the Taipei National Concert Hall in Taiwan. She has since performed the world premiere of Nakano’s Worldscape III for soprano, pipa, and electronics at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California (2015) and his newest work Spiritual Forest for soprano, shinobue and chamber ensemble at California State University San Bernardino in 2019. Ms. Fraser’s articles on Nakano’s vocal music have been published by Cambridge Scholar Press (2009) and the College Music Symposium (2011).
As a stage director her innovative, modern and zany adaptations of the standard and contemporary operatic repertoire include Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Mozart’s Impresario, Offenbach’s RSVP: or a Musicale at Mr. Cauliflower’s and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Recent productions include the first university production of Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson (abridged), a film adaptation of Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar, three chamber operas by American composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez, Monkey See Monkey Do, Tango and Concert Suite from Frida as well as her acclaimed Quentin Tarantino inspired production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale for CSUSB. Additional credits include the Bizet/Brook La Tragédie de Carmen for Opera on Tap San Francisco, Bernstein’s Candide for Pasadena Opera, and Maria de Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla for Cal State San Bernardino. In 2012 Stacey assisted Canadian director Kelly Robinson on Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She has also collaborated on several productions with dancer/choreographer Faith Jensen-Ismay of the critically acclaimed San Diego Dance Company, Mojalet Dance Collective.
She holds a Doctorate in Contemporary Music Performance from the University of California, San Diego, and Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto. She is currently Professor of Music and Director of Opera Theatre at California State University, San Bernardino. Professional affiliations and memberships include AGMA, Canadian Actors Equity, NATS and the Recording Academy.