American mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer has established herself not only as an international singer but also as a writer, teacher and arts advocate. She enjoys a significant opera, concert, chamber music and recital career of over thirty years appearing on four continents with nearly every great opera house and orchestra. She specializes in music Mozart, Berlioz, Rossini and Richard Strauss and Mahler and has promoted music by women composers.
Her extensive discography includes over 25 CDs of opera and oratorio and songs. In 2015 she completed recording the role of Nellie in Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights. She produced and performed on a recording of songs by American opera composer Carlisle Floyd released on GPR Records. She has recorded two other recitals she also performs in concert: The Eternal Feminine, a recital of music by women composers (Koch International Classics) which includes the premiere of Libby Larsen's Love After 1950 with her long-time pianist, Craig Rutenberg; and her personal favorite, Wayfaring Stranger - a collection of international folksongs arranged for voice and guitar with Grammy Award-winning Sharon Isbin. She also received a Grammy nomination for her work as Colombina in Busoni's Arlecchino. She is on the recent releases of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Plump Jack by Gordon Getty. Susanne appears on DVDs of Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Opéra de Paris), Don Giovanni (La Scala), and Grammy nominated The First Emperor by Tan Dun (Metropolitan Opera), and Ariadne auf Naxos (Metropolitan Opera). She has appeared numerous times on PBS as part of the Live from Lincoln Center and Live from the Met programs and the Met Cinema broadcast.
A proponent of women composers and new works, her interest in contemporary music has led her to premiere two song cycles by Libby Larsen: Love after 1950 and Sifting through the Ruins. She premiered Living the Divine - a cantata for children’s choir, percussion and voice, and The Journey - 5 songs for strings and voice both by Daniel Brewbaker, Carlisle Floyd’s Citizen of Paradise-a mono-drama based on poems and letters of Emily Dickinson, and Stephen Bachicha’s New Mexico Fragments, a work she commissioned in 2010. She also performed Bernard Rand’s Now and Again with 8th blackbird and sang the American premiere of Stabat Mater by Italian composer Matteo d’Amico. As a chamber musician she has collaborated with the Orion, American and Brentano String quartets, and appeared with Chamber Music Lincoln Center, Music in the Vineyards, Music from Angel Fire, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, DaCamera Houston, and Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Chicago Symphony Chamber Musicians, Chicago Chamber Musicians, University of Chicago Chamber Music, Rembrandt Chamber Musicians, and Music@Menlo and the NY Philharmonic Chamber Musicians. She also collaborated with faculty at Rice University and at the Aspen Music Festival.
Susanne is also a writer and contributes regularly to the Huffington Post.
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