Meet the Guest Artists

Susan Platts

Susan Platts mezzo-soprano

British-born Canadian mezzo-soprano Susan Platts brings  a rich, distinctive and soulful voice to an nearly all-inclusive range of concert, opera and recital repertoire for alto and mezzo-soprano.  Among other works, she has performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Argento’s Casa guidi, Beethoven’s  Missa solemnis and Ninth Symphony, Händel’sMessiah, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette and Les nuits d’été, Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Magnificat,Weihnachtsoratorium  and B Minor Mass, the Verdi Requiem, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky,  Elgar’s Sea Picturesand The Dream of Gerontius, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, and Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer.   She is particularly esteemed for her Mahler  interpretations, her recordings including both the full (Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra/Gary Bertini/Fontec label) and chamber (Virginia Arts Festival/Jo Ann Falletta/Naxos label) versions of Das Lied von der Erde; as well as Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Smithsonian Chamber Players and Santa Fe Pro Musica on the Dorian label.  Concert performances of the composer’s works include the Second Symphony (“Resurrection”) with the San Diego,  Baltimore, Toronto, Vancouver, Santa Barbara, Victoria, Québec, Winnipeg, Montreal, Charlotte, Akron, Austin, Pacific, American, Acadiana, Lafayette, Baton Rouge Symphonies;  Boston, Colorado Springs, Rhode Island, Dayton, New Mexico, Calgary and Krakow Philharmonics; Orchestre Métropolitain, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Oregon Bach and Elora Festivals;  Third Symphony with the Orchestre de Paris; Vancouver, Montreal, North Carolina, Oregon Symphonies and Brevard Music Center; Eighth Symphony  with the Québec, Montreal, American, Vancouver, Milwaukee, Royal Scottish National Symphonies and Calgary Philharmonic;  Das Lied von der Erde with the Malaysian Philharmonic, National Ballet of Canada, Winnipeg and North Carolina Symphonies, Louisville Orchestra and at the Chautauqua Festival;  Kindertotenlieder with the Houston, Amarillo and Québec Symphonies; Mahler’s Rückertlieder with the Chicago Philharmonic and Montreal Symphony, and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen  with the Kitchener-Waterloo and Montreal Symphonies.  

Increasingly active in opera, Ms. Platts has sung Erda in Wagner’s Das Rheingold at Pacific Opera Victoria, Florence Pike in Britten’sAlbert Herring at the Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria; Teresa in Bellini’s La Sonnambula  and Susie in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony, and the title roles of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Yoav Talmi and the Québec Symphony and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony.  She made her Berlin and London debuts in John Adams’ Nixon in China with the B.B.C. Symphony.  

In 2004, as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, world-renowned soprano Jessye Norman chose Ms Platts as her protégée from 26 international candidates, and has continued to mentor her ever since.   With the generous support of Rolex, Ms. Platts recently commissioned a work for mezzo-soprano and orchestra from celebrated Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich:  Under the Watchful Sky, comprised of three songs using ancient Chinese texts from Shi Jing(“The Book of Songs”) that explore the universal passions and tribulations of humankind, was premiered by the Québec Symphony under Yoav Talmi in November 2010.  

Ms. Platts has performed at Teatro alla Scala, Teatro di San Carlo, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as well as with the Philadelphia, CBC Radio, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, National Arts Centre Orchestra,  Detroit, Seattle, Harrisburg, Boston and Milwaukee Symphonies, Les Violons du Roy, Boston's Händel and Haydn Society, the Los Angeles and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras.  She has collaborated with many preeminent conductors including Marin Alsop, Roberto Abbado, Leon Botstein, Sir Andrew Davis, Andreas Delfs, Christoph Eschenbach, Jane Glover, Eliahu Inbal, Jeffrey Kahane, Bernard Labadie, Keith Lockhart, Ludovic Morlot, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Roger Norrington, Peter Oundjian, Itzhak Perlman , Osmo Vänska and Pinchas Zuckerman.    Especially well-versed in art song, Ms Platts has appeared on many distinguished series including twice for both the Vocal Arts Society at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Ladies Morning Musical Club in Montreal, the Aldeburgh Connection in Toronto, and both the Frick Collection and on Lincoln Center “Art of the Song” series in New York City.  Her first solo disc, of songs by Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms on the ATMA label earned considerable critical acclaim.

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