Susan Graham Reprises Her Signature Dido in Les Troyens for San Francisco Opera, Opening Sunday (June 7-July 1), Then Tours Australia with French Chamber Repertoire (July 11-22)

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Susan Graham Reprises Her Signature Dido in Les Troyens for San Francisco Opera, Opening Sunday (June 7-July 1), Then Tours Australia with French Chamber Repertoire (July 11-22)


“Unbeatable in French repertoire” — Time Out New York on Susan Graham


Starting Sunday, Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham – praised as “singing beautifully” by Huffington Post for her recent star turn in the Metropolitan Opera’s Merry Widow – returns to San Francisco Opera to reprise her signature role of Dido in Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens (June 7-July 1). The Associated Press has declared Graham’s “the ideal voice for Berlioz – a mezzo with a dark richness that blossoms into lush soprano-like tones.” The singer will be starring in San Francisco Opera’s premiere presentation of the David McVicar production, hailed at its Covent Garden debut as “a major event” by The Guardian. Graham will perform alongside Bryan Hymel as Aeneas, with Donald Runnicles conducting. Two seasons ago, when the Met broadcast a starry revival of Les Troyens to cinema audiences worldwide in the company’s hit Live in HD series, Graham was widely acknowledged as its standout star. The New York Times said: “The big news is mezzo-soprano Susan Graham … whose portrayal is sumptuous, regal and impassioned.


Graham has long been renowned for her way with French repertoire. Her accolades include the French government’s prestigious “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” for her services to Gallic art – putting her in the prestigious company of Rudolf Nureyev, Philip Glass and Cate Blanchett. The mezzo-soprano will be singing more French music on tour Down Under with players from the Australian Chamber Orchestra (July 11-22); the tour program features Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, as well as Respighi’s Il Tramonto. The program will also include chamber works by Ravel and Franck, with the quintet featuring guest violinist Karen Gomyo alongside the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Ike See (violin), Christopher Moore (viola), Timo-Veikko Valve (cello), and Christian Hadland (piano). Along with a four-concert run in Sydney (at City Recital Hall Angel Place, July 14, 15, 17 and 18), the tour will visit Newcastle, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.


The 2015-16 season kicks off for Graham with a solo recital in Washington, DC (Sep 12) and a concert with Mercury Baroque in Houston (Sep 19). Then she returns to the Metropolitan Opera for a new production of Berg’s Lulu by artist-director William Kentridge, whose take on Shostakovich’s The Nose at the Met thrilled critics and audiences alike. For eight performances from November 5 to December 3, Graham will make her company role debut as Countess Geschwitz, singing alongside Marlis Petersen (in the title role), Daniel Brenna and Johan Reuter. Met maestro James Levine will conduct. Reviewing a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall that included Berg’s Seven Early Songs, the Guardian extolled her conveyance of the sensual subtext of the music, calling her interpretation “unquestionably superb.”


Graham’s next starring role at the Met comes with the company’s December 4-January 7 revival of Die Fledermaus, the fizzing operetta by Johann Strauss Jr. – conducted by Levine for the first time in his 45-year Met career. Graham will play the glamorous trouser role of Prince Orlofsky in 10 performances, as part of a cast that also includes Susanna Phillips and Toby Spence. Graham also sang Orlofsky in Houston Grand Opera’s recent production of Die Fledermaus, when the Houston Chronicle praised her performance, saying: “Susan Graham, in the trouser role of the Russian Prince Orlovsky, sang with a heartiness that made the prince and his proclamations the center of attention whenever he spoke up.” In a feature profile in the Houston Press, Graham talked about why she loves playing such trouser roles, admitting that she’s always enjoyed the athleticism of portraying a man. “You can be saucy and sloppy,” she said. “You’re leaping onto and off the furniture … and jump out of windows. And it’s fun to swan around in a white tuxedo.”




Susan Graham: upcoming engagements


June 7, 12, 16, 20, 25; July 1

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Opera

Berlioz: Les Troyens (Dido)


July 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22

Australian Tour: Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth

Players from the Australian Chamber Orchestra

Ravel: Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé

Respighi: Il Tramonto


September 12

Washington, DC

Terrace Theater

Recital, including world premiere of song cycle by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer


September 19

Houston, TX

Wortham Center

Mercury Baroque

“An Evening with Susan Graham”


November 5, 9, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28; December 3 

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera

Berg: Lulu (Countess Geschwitz)


December 4, 7, 10, 14, 18, 23, 28, 30; January 2, 7

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera

Johann Strauss Jr.: Die Fledermaus (Count Orlofsky)


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© 21C Media Group, June 2015

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