Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham’s operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi’s Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was written for her. She maintains a strong international presence at such key venues as New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet, the Sydney Opera House, Santa Fe Opera, and the Hollywood Bowl. She won a Grammy award for her collection of Ives songs, and her broad recital repertory is represented on her most recent Onyx album, Virgins, Vixens & Viragos. She was awarded the French government’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, in honor of her commitment to French music. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 1991.
To launch the 2017-18 season, Ms. Graham sang Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust with the Boston Symphony. She also joins that orchestra for Mahler’s Third Symphony in Boston, at Tanglewood, and in Europe. Opera performances this season include the title role in Lehár’s The Merry Widow at the Metropolitan Opera, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti at Lyric Opera of Chicago, in a special production to mark the composer’s birth centennial, and her title role debut in Blitzstein’s Regina at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She also graces a gala concert to celebrate Tulsa Opera’s seventieth anniversary, and gives solo recitals at Atlanta’s Emory University and Washington University in Saint Louis.
Last season, Ms. Graham partnered with Renée Fleming for the San Francisco Symphony’s opening-night gala. She starred in Washington National Opera’s revival of Dead Man Walking, returned to Santa Fe Opera as Prince Orlofsky in a new production of Die Fledermaus, and portrayed Dido in Berlioz’s Les Troyens at Chicago’s Lyric Opera. Her concert highlights included selections from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn at Carnegie Hall, Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Der Rosenkavalier at the Boston Symphony. She gave US recitals of Frauenliebe und -leben Variations, her program inspired by the Schumann song cycle, and expanded her discography with a Nonesuch Records DVD/Blu-ray release of Berg’s Lulu from the Metropolitan Opera.
Ms. Graham’s solo discography includes Un frisson français, recorded with Malcolm Martineau for Onyx; C’est ça la vie, c’est ça l’amour!, an album of 20th-century operetta rarities on Erato; and La Belle Époque, an award-winning collection of songs by Reynaldo Hahn with pianist Roger Vignoles, from Sony Classical. She recorded Mahler songs with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony for SFS Media. Among the mezzo’s additional honors are Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year and an Opera News Award.