Having fled from the oppressive society he grew up in, Stephen eschews the conventional mantle of a ‘countertenor’ (which is a recently invented term) to use his voice productively to critique conventions by dispensing with ‘standard’ repertoire and performance. Instead Stephen co-opts and transforms the passive recital form into an active medium for reflection upon larger issues; he blurs the boundaries between performer & audience, “high” vs. “low” art, common practice & performance art.
A common thread that runs through Stephen’s work is the Rupture of Boundaries to manifest and question the internalized Unconscious “truths” (e.g. arbitrariness of convention). Stephen utilizes the disconnect of his gender and ethnicity in his performance practice (particularly in crossing vocal fach, crossing music genres & styles, and even media) as a device and metonym for the tyranny of convention and categories and negotiate the fine line between artless and artifice.
Stephen studied with Melanie Adams at the BC Conservatory of Music in Vancouver, and Roxolana Roslak at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He holds a Masters degree at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, where his work specialized in the intersection of aesthetics, ethics and politics. Stephen began composing due to a lack of repertoire that expressed what he wanted to communicate.