Janelle DeStefano


Janelle DeStefano enjoys the entire gamut of classical singing, from opera and oratorio to recital and chamber music. Praised for her “passionate delivery” and “rich seamless voice,” she has rendered dramatic performances in such diverse concert works as the Monteverdi Vespers, Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Mahler's Fourth Symphony, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Zeisl’s Hebrew Requiem, Szymanowsky’s Stabat Mater and the U.S. premier of Peter Eötvös, Schiller: Energische Schoenheit. Operatic roles include Romeo in I Capuletti e i Montecchi; Angelina in La Cenerentola; Dido in Dido and Aeneas; Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. Ms. DeStefano has been featured in performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; San Diego Opera, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Jacaranda Music at the Edge; El Mundo; Bach Collegium San Diego; the Los Angeles Master Chorale; and the Grammy Award Winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. She can be heard on the Spring 2018 Delos Label release of Mark Abel’s Time and Distance, where she is featured on the Song Cycle The Ocean of Forgiveness, recently honored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Other recordings include Abel’s opera, Home is a Harbor, and The Dream Gallery: Seven California Portraits also on Delos; Bach B Minor Mass with the Bach Collegium San Diego; as well as recordings with the Grammy®-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale, including Festival of Carols, Górecki: Miserere (Decca); and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2014 recording of Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary (Deutsche Grammophon).

A passionate teacher, DeStefano has taught voice for more than two decades at collegiate and community music schools including USC Thornton School of Music, UC Santa Cruz, the University of San Diego, Chapman University and Santa Monica College, where she is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Opera Theatre. She participated in the NATS Intern Program and was awarded a NATS Young Leader Award in 2006. DeStefano presented at the NATS National Winter Workshops in 2017 (Tai Chi for Singers) and 2019 (Spanish Zarzuela). She has a Doctorate of Musical Arts (Pi Kappa Lambda, Honors) from the University of Southern California (USC), a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College in Voice Pedagogy and Performance, and a Bachelor of Arts (Phi Beta Kappa, College Honors) from the University of California Santa Cruz.