Praised for her “rich seamless voice” and “passionate delivery,” mezzo-soprano Janelle DeStefano enjoys the entire gamut of classical singing, from opera and oratorio to recital and chamber music. She has rendered dramatic performances in Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Mozart’s Requiem, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity and Szymanowsky’s Stabat Mater. Her operatic repertoire includes the title role in The Rape of Lucretia, Cinderella in La cenerentola, I Capuletti e i Montecchi (Romeo), Così fan tutte (Dorabella) and The Magic Flute(Third Lady).
A personal interest in zarzuela and Spanish art song led to her European debut at the 2007 International Festival of Interpretation of Spanish Song in Granada, Spain, and she was featured in the Spanish art song concert series for the 2008 Mannes Summer Institute in New York. Her performances with El Mundo for the San Diego Early Music Society and the Da Camera Society received critical acclaim. Recent appearances include Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Bach Collegium San Diego), Bach’s The Passion According to St. Matthew (La Jolla Symphony & Chorus), Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy (Los Angeles Philharmonic) and the “Beethoven 9 for Japan” benefit concert. DeStefano debuted at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2010 as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, a role she reprises with LAMC in 2011. In 2012, she sings Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with the Santa Monica College Symphony.
A winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, San Diego District, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Musical Merit Foundation competitions, DeStefano graduated with honors from the USC’s Thornton School of Music, earning a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance. She is an associate professor of voice at Santa Monica College and lives in Los Angeles with husband Joe and baby Graziana.