“An eloquent interpreter of a large repertory, from German Classicism to contemporary American music,” says The New York Times of the incomparable mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. Appearing here with pianist Bradley Moore, Graham’s intimate concert will present a program titled Frauenliebe und -Leben (A Woman’s Love and Life). The supremely beautiful Schumann songs of this work will be interspersed with works by Berlioz, Mahler, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, and others that Graham has chosen to expand upon this classic of the song literature.
Graham’s program consists of eight poems by Adelbert von Chamisso, written in 1830, which were then set to music as a song-cycle by Robert Schumann in 1840 – his opus 42. The cycle consists of eight poems, together telling a story from the protagonist first meeting her love, following through their marriage and to his death. Graham intersperses lyrically complementary pieces by Grieg, Fauré, Mahler, Debussy and others to complement Schumann’s theme. She is scheduled to perform a similar program at Carnegie Hall and the New England Conservatory in the days surrounding her Kalamazoo appearance.
A pre-concert talk by Carl Ratner, Professor of Voice at Western Michigan University, will be held from 7 to 7:45 PM in the Dalton Center Lecture Hall preceding the concert. Free to ticket holders.
|SCHUMANN||Seit Ich Ihn Gesehen|
|Er, Der Herrlichste Von Allen|
|Ich Kann’s Nicht Fassen, Nicht Glauben|
|Du Ring An Meinem Finger|
|Helft Mir, Ihr Schwestern|
|Süsser Freund, Du Blickest Mich Verwundert An|
|An Meinem Herzen, An Meiner Brust|
|Nun hast Du mir den ersten schmerz getan|
Grammy Award-winner Susan Graham ― “America’s favorite mezzo” (Gramophone) ― achieved international stardom within a few years of her professional debut. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi’s Poppea to Jake Heggie’s Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking), which was written especially for her, and her recital repertoire is equally wide-ranging. As one of today’s foremost interpreters of French vocal music, the Texas native was awarded the French government’s “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.”
Graham kicks off the 2015-16 season with a solo recital in Washington, DC, and a concert with Mercury Baroque in Houston. She then makes a much-anticipated return to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Countess Geschwitz in a new production of Berg’s Lulu by artist-director William Kentridge, and for a revival of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus in the role of Prince Orlovsky. A string of European concert dates follows, including Britten at Teatro Real Madrid and recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the Vienna Konzerthaus. Stateside, Graham appears with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco; with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony for Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody; at the Celebrity Series of Boston for a program that includes Schumann, Mahler, and Ravel; with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall; and with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. The mezzo later returns to Carnegie Hall to headline a special evening of music called “Susan Graham & Friends.”
Graham enjoyed early success in “trouser” roles like Mozart’s Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), before mastering his more virtuosic parts and the title roles of Handel’s Ariodante and Xerxes. She triumphed in Richard Strauss’s iconic mezzo roles, Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) and the Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos), which brought her to prominence with all the world’s major opera companies. She also created the female leads in the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere productions of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby and Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, and later returned to the Met in the title role of Susan Stroman’s staging of Lehár’s The Merry Widow. Her signature role of Dido in Berlioz’s epic Les troyens ― recently praised by the New York Times as “sumptuous, regal and impassioned” ― was reprised in a David McVicar-helmed staging at San Francisco Opera. Graham made her musical theater debut in a new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and has headlined gala concerts at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Los Angeles Opera.
Following the mezzo’s successes in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict in Lyon and Massenet’s Chérubin at Covent Garden, new productions of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, Massenet’s Werther, and Offenbach’s La belle Hélène and The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein were mounted for her in New York, London, Paris, Chicago, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and elsewhere. Her command of French music has also led to regular appearances with the world’s foremost orchestras. She has performed Berlioz with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. She also collaborates frequently with pianist Malcolm Martineau, who she recently joined for a West Coast recital tour.
Graham’s extensive and distinguished discography features oratorios and song cycles by Berlioz, Ravel, and Chausson, as well as solo albums that include her Grammy Award-winning recording of Ives songs. Among her additional honors are Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year and an Opera News Award.
Bradley Moore has performed as piano soloist with orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic. He recently performed the Martinů Harpsichord Concerto with the San Francisco Ballet for the world premiere of Mark Morris’ Beaux, and has been heard as a recitative accompanist and continuo player with the Metropolitan Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Mozarteum Orchester and the Metropolitan Chamber Ensemble.
Widely acclaimed as a recital partner, Mr. Moore recently performed with Renée Fleming and Susan Graham at Carnegie Hall and on a national tour. He also enjoys partnerships with Christine Goerke, Alice Coote, Eric Cutler, and clarinetist Julian Bliss. He has performed live on A Prairie Home Companion with Ms Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma, and with Joshua Bell on CBS Sunday Morning News and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. His discography includes a recital with Mr. Cutler on the EMI Classics Debut Series and a disc of songs by American composer Daron Hagen for Arsis Audio.
Mr. Moore was recently appointed Head of Music Staff at the Houston Grand Opera and Music Director of the HGO Studio. He is also Music Director of the Fire Island Opera Festival, where he recently conducted Gluck’s L’arbre enchanté. Mr Moore was assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera for fifteen seasons, and has also worked as assistant conductor, backstage conductor and coach at the Salzburg Festival, Opéra National de Paris, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Los Angeles Opera.