Stephen was born in Melbourne, Australia and studied Music and Drama at Melbourne University before moving permanently to London. He made his directing debut with Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial By Jury staging it in the Bow Street Magistrates Court where it became the annual hit of the Covent Garden Festival. Subsequently, his productions have included Dovetales - a collection of Jonathan Dove pieces (Glyndebourne Festival Opera), a 'film noir' Carmen (Riverside Opera, London), the London premiere of Schubert's Alfonso und Estrella (UCOpera), Idomeneo with Peter Sellars (Glyndebourne Touring Opera) and most recently Elegies for Angels… (Chelsea Theatre). Stephen has also staged revivals of Madama Butterfly (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Otello (Glyndebourne Festival Opera) and La Rondine (Opéra Monte Carlo and San Francisco Opera). Stephen has worked closely with a number of leading directors at the Royal National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Mariinsky Theatre (Kirov Opera) St Petersburg including Peter Hall, Jonathan Kent, Robert Lepage, Trevor Nunn and Peter Sellars. His future productions include La Rondine (Metropolitan Opera, New York) and the British premiere of the Australian opera Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.