Texas native Susan Graham kicked off the 2015-16 season with a solo recital in Washington DC and a concert with Mercury Baroque in Houston. Other engagements this season include a return to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Countess Geschwitz in Berg’s Lulu and the role of Prince Orlovsky in J. Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus, Britten at Teatro Real Madrid, and recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the Vienna Konzerthaus. Stateside, Ms. Graham appears with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, at the Celebrity Series of Boston for a program that includes Schumann, Mahler, and Ravel, and with the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s and the New York Philharmonic. The mezzo later returns to Carnegie Hall to headline a special “Susan Graham & Friends” concert.
Ms. Graham enjoyed early success in “trouser” roles such as Mozart’s Cherubino, before taking on the title roles of Handel’s Ariodante and Xerxes, and later, R. Strauss’s Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. She also created the female leads in the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere productions of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby and Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. Ms. Graham made her musical theater debut in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
She appeared in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict in Lyon and Massenet’s Chérubin at Covent Garden, and later inaugurated new productions of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, Massenet’s Werther, and Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène and The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein in New York, London, Paris, Chicago, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and elsewhere. She has performed Berlioz with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Last season she sang the role of Dido in Berlioz’s Les Troyens at San Francisco Opera. She also collaborates frequently with pianist Malcolm Martineau, whom she recently joined for a West Coast recital tour.
Ms. Graham’s extensive discography features oratorios and song cycles by Berlioz, Ravel, and Chausson, as well as a Grammy award-winning recording of Ives songs. She recorded Mahler songs with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony for SFS Media. Among her additional honors are Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year and an Opera News Award, and she was awarded the French government’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Susan Graham made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 1991.