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The American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham was born in New Mexico and grew up in Texas. While still a student at the Manhattan School of Music, she was engaged to perform in Masse-
net’s Chérubin. As a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she began her international career in the 1989-90 season appearing as Annio in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito at Chicago Lyric Opera; she then made her San Francisco Opera debut in 1990 and her first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in 1991. She launched her European career at the Salzburg Festival in 1993 in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Verdi’s Falstaff. Since then Graham has performed at the Royal Opera House in London, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Bavarian Staatsoper, La Scala in Milan, and the Opéra national de Paris. In the 2017-18 season, she appeared on the Met stage in Lehár’s The Merry Widow in the title role and in a production of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti in Chicago; the Boston Symphony Orchestra engaged her for performances of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust and Mahler’s Third Symphony. She has also made contemporary works part of her repertoire and participated in the world premieres of Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Picker’s An American Tragedy, and Harbison’s The Great Gatsby. Graham is a sought-after concert and lied singer whose repertoire spans from the Baroque to music of the 20th century; she is a highly acclaimed interpreter in particular of French music – not by chance has the French government made her a Knight of the Legion of Honor. Graham’s recordings have received many awards, including a Grammy for her account of Ives songs. Susan Graham was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year in 2004 and received an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music in 2008.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 2 September 1994 in Mozart’s C minor Mass, which was conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.