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Susan Graham’s 2012-13 season of firsts

After completing a busy summer of enthusiastically received festival engagements, “America’s favorite mezzo” (Gramophone) Susan Graham will embark on what promises to be a particularly captivating 2012-13 season. In October, Onyx Classics releases Graham’s first recording since 2008: Virgins, Vixens & Viragos, a program exploring iconic female characters with pianist Malcom Martineau. In December, Graham returns “home” to New York’s Metropolitan Opera for her company role debut as the fiery Dido in the revival of Francesca Zambello’s celebrated production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens. In early 2013, Graham and longtime friend Renée Fleming travel across the country on their first-ever duo recital tour, making stops at Los Angeles’s Disney Hall, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Civic Opera House, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and numerous venues in between. Also in 2012-13, Graham will make concert appearances with the St. Louis Symphony, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and will take on two more role debuts: Tina in Argento’s The Aspern Papers at the Dallas Opera (also her company debut), and the title role in Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein at the Santa Fe Opera.
This exciting range of roles and repertoire is a fascinating follow-up to Graham’s extraordinary 2011-12 season, which showcased her triumphant turn in the title role of Xerxes at the San Francisco Opera. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote:
“In the title role, Graham added to her long catalog of San Francisco successes with a performance of vocal majesty and vigor – her delivery of Xerxes’ big Act II showpiece aria was a tour de force – as well as a comic gift that has rarely been called into evidence.”
Virgins, Vixens & Viragos
In October, Onyx will release Susan Graham’s first recording since 2008, Virgins, Vixens & Viragos. Her second album for Onyx, this imaginative program is inspired by iconic female characters of history, literature, and song. Accompanied by Graham’s frequent collaborator Malcolm Martineau, the recital encompasses works by Purcell, Poulenc, Berlioz, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Duparc, Porter, Sondheim, and Wolf – and includes Joseph Horovitz’s Lady Macbeth, a scena based on texts from Shakespeare’s drama. The program is an expanded version of the one Graham sang during her globe-spanning spring 2012 tour with Martineau. John Terauds wrote of the tour’s Koerner Hall stop for Musical Toronto:
“A great singer doesn’t need costumes, props, scenery or lighting to conjure mood and emotion while they tell a musical tale. Graham, through the force of a large, flexible, honeyed voice and considerable artistry created once-upon-a-time worlds, delivering what amounted to a series of miniature, one-woman operas rather than a standard recital.”
Les Troyens at the Metropolitan Opera
Graham returns to her “home theater,” New York’s Metropolitan Opera, to make her Met role debut as Dido, the heartbroken queen of Carthage in Francesca Zambello’s production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens. This first revival of Zambello’s celebrated 2003  interpretation also stars Marcello Giordani as the hero Aeneas with Debroah Voigt as the cursed prophetess Cassandra, and will be led by Metropolitan Opera Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. Les Troyens runs December 13, 2012 through January 5, 2013, and will also be shown as part of the Met’s Live in HD broadcasts on January 5. A previous incarnation of Graham’s Dido was recorded live for DVD at the Paris Châtelet; it was praised by Gramophone as “moving and intense…strongly acted and magnificently sung.”
Winter Tour with soprano Renée Fleming
Susan Graham joins forces with longtime friend and collaborator Renée Fleming for their first-ever duo recital tour in January-February 2013. Accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore, the cherished duo will present an enthralling program of works by Chausson, Debussy, Fauré, and others. The tour will stop in San Francisco (Jan 16); Los Angeles’s Disney Hall (Jan 19); Palm Desert, CA (Jan 22); Lyric Opera of Chicago in Chicago, IL (Jan 24); New York’s Carnegie Hall (Jan 27); and Boston, MA (Feb 3).
Additional Highlights
Graham rounds out her busy 2012-13 season with concert and opera appearances in North America and Europe. She begins the fall with a series of concerts: Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the St. Louis Symphony (Oct 6); Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Oct 16); and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich (Oct 24-Nov 1), to be recorded for future release by Sony.
Graham ends her season with two additional operatic role debuts: In the spring, she’ll make her Dallas Opera debut as Tina in Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers (April 12-28, 2013). This new, Tim Albery-directed production of Henry James’s imaginative tale celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Dallas Opera, and also stars Alexandra Deshorties, Nathan Gunn, and Joseph Kaiser, led by conductor Graeme Jenkins. Graham then returns to the Santa Fe Opera for the season-opening new production of Offenbach’s comic masterpiece The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, directed by Lee Blakeley. This is the first time Santa Fe Opera has presented this audience favorite in 34 years. Under the direction of Frédéric Chaslin, Graham will tackle the title role alongside a cast that includes Anya Matanovic and Richard Tucker Award-winner Paul Appleby.
Susan Graham: 2012-13 appearances

Oct 6, 2012
St. Louis, MO
Saint Louis Symphony 
Mahler: Symphony No. 3

Oct 16 & 17, 2012
Montreal, Canada
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Chausson: Poème de l’amour et de la mer

Oct 24, 2012 – Nov 1, 2012 
Zurich, Switzerland
Tonhalle Orchester Zürich
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Dec 13, 17, 21, 26, & 29, 2012 & Jan 1 & 5, 2013
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Berlioz: Les Troyens (Dido)

Jan 16, 2013
San Francisco, CA
Davies Symphony Hall
Recital with Renée Fleming
Works by Chausson, Debussy, Fauré, and more
Jan 19, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Recital with Renée Fleming

Jan 22, 2013
Palm Desert, CA
McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts
Recital with Renée Fleming

Jan 24, 2013
Chicago, IL
Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Opera House
Recital with Renée Fleming

Jan 27, 2013
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium
Recital with Renée Fleming

Feb 3, 2013
Boston, MA
Symphony Hall
Recital with Renée Fleming

April 12, 14, 17, 20, & 28, 2013
Dallas, TX
The Dallas Opera
Argento: The Aspern Papers

June 28 – Aug 24
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Opera
Offenbach: The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein

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