An Interview with Susan Graham

August 19, 2023, 4:00 pm

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Susan Graham
Susan Graham (Photo: Matthew Cosgrove | Onyx Classics)

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.


All selections feature mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.

Reynaldo Hahn: À Chloris
Hahn: L’Énamourée 

Hahn: Quand je fuis pris au pavillon 
Hahn: Si mes vers avaient des ailes
Roger Vignoles, piano

Christoph Willibald Gluck: “Amour, viens rendre à mon âme” from Orphée et Eurydice
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Harry Bicket, conductor

Emile Paladihe: Psyché 
Alfred Bachelet: Chère nuit
Francis Poulenc: Fleurs from Fiançailles pour rire
Poulenc: Les chemins de l’amour
Malcolm Martineau, piano

Claude Debussy: Harmonie de soir from Cinq poèmes de Charles Baudelaire
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

Richard Strauss: “Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein” from Der Rosenkavalier
Barbara Bonney, soprano
Renée Fleming, soprano
Walter Berry, bass-baritone
Vienna Philharmonic
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor