Susan Graham 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. She maintains a strong international presence at such key venues as Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet, Santa Fe Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. Graham has been recognized throughout her career as one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music. Although a native of Texas, she was awarded the French government’s prestigious “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur,” both for her popularity as a performer in France and in honor of her commitment to French music.
Susan Graham joined Oliver Camacho at Santa Fe Opera, where she was performing in the new production of Pelléas et Mélisande. In this interview, she shares her love of French mélodie and reminisces on one of her signature roles—Oktavian in Der Rosenkavalier.