Susan Graham “stands out” in Dead Man Walking

16700520_10154976328519098_3194590786415554876_o copyIn her return to Jake Heggie’s work and debut in a new role, Susan Graham has earned acclaim for her account of Mrs. De Rocher in Dead Man Walking at Washington National Opera.

The originator of the role of Sister Helen Prejean, Susan’s turn as eponymous convict Joseph De Rocher’s mother “steals the show,” according to, which went on to add that the American mezzo-soprano “Graham, dressed in the trappings of the typical mom… transcends the limitations of the character’s appearance and externalizes what she feels.”

“Graham stood out for the power and intensity of her voice, especially in her outburst at the pardon board hearing in Act I. She brought dignity and sympathy to the character, who believes quite wrongly in her son’s innocence,” added the Washington Classical Review.

The Washington Post also noted that the character of Mrs. De Rocher “was made all the more touching…by the remarkable mezzo-soprano Susan Graham singing a part that everyone in the audience probably wished were twice as long to better showcase her.”

Dead Man Walking continues at the Kennedy Center through March 11.

Role debut in Dead Man Walking at Washington National Opera

Susan Graham_2Next month, Susan Graham returns to Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking with Washington National Opera’s revival of the modern operatic classic, singing a new role in a work she helped to create.

When the American mezzo-soprano created the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the work’s world premiere at San Francisco Opera in 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that she “brought not just the ravishing beauty of her mezzo-soprano to Sister Helen but seemed to glow onstage.”

In WNO’s new production helmed by Francesca Zambello, Susan makes her role debut as Mrs. De Rocher. She stars opposite Kate Lindsey as Sister Helen Prejean, as well as Michael Mayes as Joseph De Rocher, Jacqueline Echols as Sister Rose, and Wayne Tigges as Owen Hart.

Michael Christie conducts performances, which take place on February 25 and 27, and March 3, 5, 8, and 11 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Click here for more information.

Chants d’Auvergne with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Susan GrahamTo kick off the new year, Susan Graham joins the Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin for selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne as part of an all-French concert during the orchestra’s Paris Festival.

The program also draws in works from Chabrier, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Schmitt.

Click here for more information and tickets for these performances at the Kimmel center on January 12, 13, and 14.

Lulu Now Available on DVD and Blu-ray

untitled-design-33Susan Graham’s “poignant” (Financial Times) interpretation of Countess Geschwitz in Alben Berg’s Lulu is now available to own on DVD/Blu-ray from Nonesuch Records. The Met’s 2015 staging, directed by acclaimed South African visual artist William Kentridge and conducted by Lothar Koenigs, also features Marlis Petersen in the title role alongside Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, and Johan Reuter. Watch the Metropolitan Opera’s trailer of the production here.

“She distinguished herself with her burnished warm sound from the very first notes,” praised the Washington Post of Susan’s performance — her debut in the role — and “sang so radiantly [she] made Berg’s spiky music sound downright romantic” (New York Observer). As the cunning admirer of the eponymous femme fatale Susan “was luxurious casting, singing her final scene with rare eloquence and great depth of feeling,” noted Operavore, and “[balanced] fragile dignity and poignant neediness in her performance (New York Times). 

Get Lulu now from Amazon or the Nonesuch Store.