Susan Graham Caps Recital Tour with Malcolm Martineau in Santa Fe and New York, Then Returns to Met for The Merry Widow (April 24-May 7)

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Susan Graham Caps Recital Tour with Malcolm Martineau in Santa Fe and New York, Then Returns to Met for The Merry Widow (April 24-May 7)


“Graham’s mezzo-soprano is a voice without regrets, ineffably musical and eager for a challenge.” — The New Yorker


Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham – whose accolades include a Grammy Award, an Opera News Award and Musical America Vocalist of the Year – completes her current U.S. recital tour alongside piano partner Malcolm Martineau in Santa Fe (March 12) before giving a special, intimate New York performance in the Michael Palm Series for Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS (April 2). The San Francisco Classical Voice review of their romantically themed program at the University of California-Berkeley last month marveled over the way “Graham went to the heart of the matter” in Schumann, Granados, Poulenc and more, with her “shining, exquisitely crafted tone” and “telling, light touch.” Those qualities will come to the fore on a larger stage when Graham returns to the Metropolitan Opera to star again in the title role of Lehár’s The Merry Widow (April 24-May 7), in the new staging by Tony-winning director-choreographer Susan Stroman.


The Merry Widow is one of Graham’s signature roles, with Variety calling her “everybody’s dream Widow.” With art-nouveau sets by Julian Crouch and costumes by William Ivey Long, this Met take on Lehár’s perennially popular operetta of 1905 sees Graham performing as Hanna Glawari alongside Andriana Chuchman’s Valencienne, Rodney Gilfry’s Danilo and Stephen Costello’s Camille. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi will be on the podium.


Berlioz by the Bay


Graham – who was honored by the French government with the prestigious “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” for her services to French music – closes the season with her beloved Berlioz, portraying Dido in Les Troyens at San Francisco Opera (June 7-July 1). This is 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 in the epic alongside Bryan Hymel as Aeneas, with Donald Runnicles conducting. Two seasons ago, when the Met broadcast a revival of Les Troyens to cinema audiences worldwide in the company’s hit Live in HD series, Graham was 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.


Last month, Graham sang Berlioz across the Atlantic, performing his song cycle Les nuits d’été with the London Symphony Orchestra and the dramatic cantata La mort de Cléopâtre with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic. 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.”


Next Season at the Met: Lulu and Die Fledermaus


In the 2015-16 season, Graham returns to her home stage of the Met Opera to make her company role debut as the Countess Geschwitz in a new production of Berg’s Lulu designed by William Kentridge (The Nose) and conducted by James Levine (Nov 15-Dec 3). A Met video preview of the production can be seen here. She will also star in the Met’s revival of Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus (Dec 4-Jan 7), taking on the glamorous trouser role of Prince Orlofsky. Levine will be on the podium for the Strauss operetta for the first time in his 45-year Met career.




Susan Graham: upcoming engagements


March 12

Santa Fe, NM

Performance Santa Fe

Recital (with Malcolm Martineau, piano)


April 2

New York, NY

Classical Action’s Michael Palm Series

Recital (with Malcolm Martineau, piano)


April 24, 27 30; May 7

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera

Lehár: The Merry Widow (Hanna Glawari)


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

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Opera

Berlioz: Les Troyens (Didon)


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© 21C Media Group, March 2015

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