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Susanna Phillips caps year with style in New York and San Francisco

Susanna Phillips ends the year with a flourish, starring in a series of high-profile events this month while still turning heads with her “passion and imagination” (Classical Review) as Donna Anna at the Metropolitan Opera. Besides gracing Mozart’s Don Giovanni, December sees the Alabama native perform music by Philip Lasser – named the Classical Recording Foundation’s Composer of the Year 2012 – at 92Y Tribeca (Dec 10). Then, on Christmas Eve, she undertakes the solo role in “O, Holy Night” in a Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral that will be telecast on WPIX New York. Finally, the soprano heads to the West Coast to help celebrate New Year’s Eve with the San Francisco Symphony, joining the orchestra for such favorites as Strauss’s “Voices of Spring.”
Phillips received the Met’s 2010 Beverly Sills Award, and the company has become her home from home. This is her fifth consecutive season performing at the Met, where she has won praise for such roles as Pamina in Julie Taymor’s production of The Magic Flute and Musetta in La bohème, in which the New York Observer called her “captivating.” In one of her biggest Met roles to date – Donna Anna in Don Giovanni led by Edward Gardner (which runs until Dec 20) – Phillips earned glowing words in the Classical Review:
“I have never heard a more involved and involving performance of the long accompanied recitative before Or sai chi l’onore than that given by Susanna Phillips… . Many sopranos scramble through it to get to their big aria; Phillips understood that it is key to Donna Anna’s opera seria gravity and sang it accordingly, with passion and imagination. With a bright, somewhat girlish sound and a fluent technique, Phillips needs only a touch more bite in her delivery of the text to command this great role. She had real chemistry with Castronovo’s Don Ottavio and for once played Donna Anna as a woman violated and sincere in her quest for revenge.”
At the San Francisco Symphony’s “Masquerade Ball” New Year’s Eve concert at Davies Symphony Hall, Phillips will sing George Gershwin’s evergreen “Summertime,” as well as the lesser-known “Italian Street Song” from Victor Herbert’s operetta Naughty Marietta and other favorites. Reviewing a previous New Year’s Eve event in which the soprano starred, the Birmingham News declared: “The voice of soprano Susanna Phillips lit up the Alabama Theatre brighter than the ball in Times Square.”
Carnegie Hall solo recital debut, and more
As the highpoint of her winter tour with pianist Myra Huang, Phillips makes her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall on February 8, 2013. The evening’s repertoire will range from Schubert, Chausson, and Granados to Berg, Messiaen, and Gordon Myers. The soprano returns to Carnegie Hall on March 14 to sing Stella Kowalski in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. This semi-staged concert production will premiere at Carnegie as part of the “Perspectives” residency of Renée Fleming (who plays Blanche Dubois in the production) before traveling to Lyric Opera of Chicago for performances in March and April.
Susanna Phillips – upcoming engagements
Nov 28; Dec 1, 5, 8, 11, 15, & 20
Metropolitan Opera
New York, NY
Mozart: Don Giovanni (Donna Anna)
Dec 24
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
New York, NY
Midnight Mass
Dec 31
Davies Symphony Hall
San Francisco, CA
New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball with the San Francisco Symphony
Jan 12 & 13
Historic Asolo Theater
Sarasota, FL
Recital with Myra Huang
Jan 25
Trinity United Methodist Church
Huntsville, AL
Recital with Myra Huang
Feb 1
American Philosophical Society
Philadelphia, PA
Recital with Myra Huang
Feb 8
Carnegie Hall – Weill Recital Hall
New York City, NY
Recital with Myra Huang
Feb 24
Hertz Hall – Cal Performances
Berkeley, California
Recital with Myra Huang
Feb 28; March 2 & 3
Baltimore Symphony
Baltimore, MD
Mozart: Requiem
March 14
Carnegie Hall
New York City, NY
Previn: A Streetcar Named Desire in concert (Stella)
March 26 & 29; April 3 & 6
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Previn: A Streetcar Named Desire (Stella)

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