Susan Graham | Mezzo-soprano
“Graham’s mezzo-soprano is a voice without regrets, healthy, rounded, ineffably musical, and eager for a challenge.” – New Yorker
Susan Graham, world famous in opera, concerts, and recitals – particularly in French repertoire – opens her season singing Berlioz in South America, and later performs in New York, Paris, and Munich. She hosts the fourth annual Opera News Awards, sings at the renowned Prague Spring Festival, and closes her season with recitals in Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Vienna, and Brussels. At the Met she is Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Marguérite in Berlioz’s Damnation de Faust; at Carnegie Hall she sings “Arias & Barcarolles” during a citywide Leonard Bernstein Festival and later salutes Marilyn Horne for her 75th birthday. Also on Ms. Graham’s agenda are songs by Berg in St. Louis, Mozart arias in Salzburg, and Rorem songs with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Graham has sung Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She has performed leading roles from the 17th to 20th centuries at the world’s principal opera houses, including La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Dresden’s Semperoper, and the Salzburg Festival, and she has appeared with most of the world’s foremost conductors and orchestras. Dubbed “America’s favorite mezzo” by Gramophone magazine, the Grammy Award-winning singer captivates audiences with her expressive voice, tall and graceful stature, and natural, engaging acting ability in comedy as well as tragedy.
Last season at the Met, Ms. Graham portrayed both Gluck’s Iphigénie and Mozart’s Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, and gave recitals in London, Madrid, Amsterdam, and Paris with her frequent collaborator, pianist Malcolm Martineau. Her season finale as Handel’s Ariodante with San Francisco Opera prompted a local critic to write: “Susan Graham added one more entry to her long list of triumphs with the company, turning in a performance marked by nobility and technical bravura.”
Susan Graham releases two new recordings this season: Un frisson français, with Malcolm Martineau for ONYX Classics, surveys a century of French song; and her famous rendition of La mort de Cléopatre by Hector Berlioz, as recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, is released by EMI Classics. Her discography of complete operas ranges from Handel’s Alcina and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride to Barber’s Vanessa, Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and Berlioz’s Troyens on DVD.
Ms. Graham created the part of Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking for San Francisco Opera, and created roles in two Metropolitan Opera world premieres – Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy and John Harbison’s Great Gatsby.
Born in New Mexico and raised in Texas, Susan Graham studied at Texas Tech University and the Manhattan School of Music. As a young artist, she won awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, San Francisco Opera, and the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. She was Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year, and her hometown of Midland, Texas, has made September 5 its annual “Susan Graham Day”.
For upcoming concert dates, see links below: