Susan Graham—hailed as “an artist to treasure” by The New York Times—rose to the highest echelon of international performers within just a few years of her professional debut, mastering an astonishing range of repertoire and genres along the way. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Poppea in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which Heggie wrote especially for her. Among her numerous honors are a Grammy Award for her collection of Ives songs, Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year Award, and an Opera News Award. As one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music, Ms. Graham was awarded the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government.
To launch the 2018–19 season, Susan Graham reunited with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 in Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and London (at the BBC Proms). Back in the United States, she made her role debut as The Witch in director/designer Doug Fitch’s treatment of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel at LA Opera and returned to New York’s Carnegie Hall for Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Further concert engagements include Ms. Graham reprising her signature interpretations of four great French song cycles: Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson; Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer with Florida’s Naples Philharmonic and Andrey Boreyko; and Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été with the Houston Symphony and Ludovic Morlot as well as his La Mort de Cléopâtre with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Edo de Waart. In recital, Ms. Graham sings Mahler and Berlioz at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, while her Schumann-inspired Frauenliebe und -leben Variations program is the vehicle for performances in the United States and at Australia’s Adelaide Festival.
Susan Graham’s earliest operatic successes were in such trouser roles as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Her technical expertise soon brought mastery of more virtuosic parts, and she went on to triumph as Octavian in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and The Composer in his Ariadne auf Naxos. She sang the leading ladies in The Metropolitan Opera’s world premieres of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby and Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, and she made her musical theater debut in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. In concert, Ms. Graham makes regular appearances with the world’s foremost orchestras, often in French repertoire, while her distinguished discography comprises a wealth of opera, orchestral, and solo recordings. Gramophone magazine has dubbed Susan Graham “America’s favorite mezzo.”