Susan Graham


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 Monteverdi’s Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was written especially for her. Among her numerous honors are a Grammy Award for her collection of Ives songs, Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year, and an Opera News Award. As one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music, she has been recognized with the French government’s “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.”

This season, Graham makes her role debut as Herodias in Salome at Houston Grand Opera and reprises her portrayal of Mrs. De Rocher in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s company premiere of Dead Man Walking. In concert, she sings La mort de Cléopâtre and excerpts from Les Troyens with the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin at the Berlin Musikfest, revisits her signature interpretation of Les nuits d’été with the Vancouver Symphony, and headlines the Jacksonville Symphony 2020 Gala. She completes the season with a “Beyond the Aria” concert in Chicago’s Millennium Park and recitals with pianist Malcolm Martineau in Berkeley, Fort Worth and at New York’s Lincoln Center.

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 made her musical theater debut in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. In concert, she 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 her “America’s favorite mezzo.”