Recent Reviews

Cavalli’s La Calisto: Juilliard, New York, February 2016

“Stephen Stubbs, the noted early-music specialist, conducted from the harpsichord and the lute. In his program note, he suggests that Cavalli’s librettist, Giovanni Faustini, “set out to fashion a show that a modern promoter might describe as ‘a sexy romp,’” a notion that he and Mr. Winokur carried through.”


Handel’s Messiah: Seattle, December 2015

“Under the dynamic conducting of Stubbs, the whole became a memorable performance, one not easily forgotten.”

Philippa Kiraly,


Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers: Vancouver, November 2015

“Sometimes one comes away from a performance admiring all that has been put in place, yet somehow one does not feel the sheer ‘love’ of the conductor and the performers.  Well, here I felt the love!”


Handel’s Messiah: Alabama Symphony, December 2013

“And coming from a conductor whose specialty is Baroque  opera, the drama was no surprise.”

Michael Huebner, All Alabama, December 2013

G.F Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo: Seattle, March 2012

“This was quite possibly the greatest performance not just of a Handel masterpiece but of anything that I have heard since moving to the Seattle area more than six years ago. To anyone that heard Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine conducted by Stephen Stubbs in Seattle’s St James Cathedral in 2010, I might perhaps need to say no more in justification of that large statement than that this performance of Handel’s first oratorio was on the same superb level of inspiration and execution-and yet it should be added that the singing, this time around, was even more thrilling and accomplished.”

Bernard Jacobson,, April 2, 2012

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Carissimi Oratorios: Prophets: Seattle, January 2012

“One of the hallmarks of Pacific MusicWorks is the quality of its performers. Music director Stephen Stubbs has an international reputation in the field of early music, as a lutenist and conductor of staged and unstaged performances, and he fields an international group of singers and musicians for his presentations.”

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G.F. Handel’s Esther 

“Stubbs paced the performance with a sure sense of flow and contrast”- Crosscut

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Claudio Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses, Seattle/San Francisco, March 2007:

‘The return of Stephen Stubbs to Seattle has reached a climax with the launching of his new company, Pacific MusicWorks. Those who witnessed the maiden voyage Wednesday night of Monteverdi’s opera, “The Return of Ulysses,” will be congratulating themselves for years to come.

Stubbs has been home from his star-studded career in Europe for a couple of years now, but those years have been building up to this project. And the staging of this particular opera is an event in itself. It comes from South African artist William Kentridge (who also has an exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery), and is directed by Kentridge’s frequent collaborator, Luc De Wit. It also employs the skills of the Handspring Puppet Company of Cape Town.

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“The sorcery of The Return of Ulysses owes much to…. the musical excellence of Seattle’s Pacific MusicWorks led by musical director Stephen Stubbs”                                                       ~ The San Francisco Chronicle

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“Stubbs, both as director and player …. specializes in this very literature. He leads a group that can only be described as all-stars…” ~ Seattle Times

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Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beate Virgine, Seattle December 2010:

‘The man is a genius. Oh, I meant Stubbs. But Monteverdi, too, was no slouch.’

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