Greek tenor Dimitris Stefanou was born in Mytilene of the island of Lesvos in the NE Aegean in 1953.
He studied at the Greek Conservatory with Mireille Fleury (the well known soprano, rival and arch-enemy of
Maria Callas at the Athens Lyric in the 1940s) and graduated in 1975 with "excellent" and first prize.
At the beginning of his career at the Athens Lyric (1973) he was a member of the chorus and then (
while still a student) a comprimario tenor. Some of his performances at that time were in substitution
to the main Lyric tenors, Pavlos Raptis, Giorgios Zervanos, Zahos Terzakis and Nikos Hatzinikolaou.
Stefanou was quite inferior to them, with a rather unfocused voice and a poor ability to sustain the note.
In RA Format
Slowly he developed into one of the basic tenors of the Lyric, a dependable but never brilliant tenor.
His career has been predominantly at the Athens Lyric where he has sung, among others, Rigoletto,
Traviata, Trovatore, Werther, Cavalleria Rusticana, Faust, Lucia di Lamermoor, Anna Bolena, Macbeth,
Boheme, Vespri Siciliani, Simone Boccanegra, etc. He participated in many operettas including several
Stefanou was also asked to sing some relatively newer operas such as Prokofiev's "The Betrothal
in the Monastery" and Weil's "Mahagonny". He was also a protagonist in several Greek operas including
Spyros Samaras' "Flora Mirabilis", Manolis Kalomoiris' "Protomastoras" and Samaras' "Rhea". In fact,
he appeared last in 1999 at the ELS (Athens Lyric Opera) as Lysias in "Rhea".
His performances abroad have been limited to secondary Balkan opera houses like the Operas of Belgrade,
Novi Sad and Skopia, as well as the Opera of Duisburg in Germany.
There are two recorded performances by him, Samaras' "Rhea" (where he sings Lysias) on a Lyra 1984
recording with the Sofia Radio Symphony Orchestra under Byron Fidetzis, and Weil's "Rise and Fall of
the City of Mahagonny" where he sings a minor role, that of Jacob Schmidt.
The latter is from a live 1978 performance at the Athens Lyric Opera.
I wish to thank Daniele Godor for the recording.
I wish to thank Nicholas Peppas and Juan Dzazˇpulos for the biographical notes.
I wish to thank Stathis Arfanis for the picture (Fedora).