Renowned mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzner holds residency

Students gain invaluable advice, feedback from opera star.

The College of Music is pleased to welcome Susanne Mentzner this week – Jan. 13-Jan. 15 – as she gives five master classes offering her knowledge and expertise to MSU voice students.

"Susanne Mentzer is a renowned and accomplished international artist that has sung many roles at the Metropolitan Opera," says Professor of Voice and Vocal Arts Area Chair Richard Fracker. "To have such an accomplished artist spend several days with our students is an exceptional opportunity to learn technique and artistry from the very best."


Susanne Mentzner, mezzo-soprano

Introduced to opera as a teenage usher at the Santa Fe Opera, Susanne Mentzer is one of today's foremost mezzo-sopranos, recognized for her generous vocal and interpretive gifts, and widely admired for her versatility from the recital and concert stage to the operatic arena.

Mentzer has appeared with nearly all the major opera companies, orchestras and festivals of North and South America, Europe and Japan. For more than 20 years she has sung leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera. She has collaborated with many of the world’s great conductors and singers including James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Pierre Boulez and Christoph Eschenbach, Joan Sutherland, Shirley Verrett, Placido Domingo, Natalie Dessay, Renee Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Carol Vaness, Thomas Hampson and Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade to name just a few.
Highlights of her extensive discography and videography includes: on DVD- Les Contes d’Hoffmann Opéra de Paris, Ariadne auf Naxos and The First Emperor (with Placido Domingo) from the Metropolitan Opera, Don Giovanni at La Scala; CD- Anna Bolena with the late Joan Sutherland, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Idomeneo, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Il Turco in Italia, Faust and Grammy nominated Busoni’s Arlecchino, and two recitals: Wayfaring Stranger with Grammy- winning guitarist Sharon Isbin and The Eternal Feminine featuring music by women composers with Craig Rutenberg, piano.

Mentzer has a special interest in new works and has premiered two song cycles by Libby Larsen - Love after 1950 and Sifting through the Ruins both available on CD, Carlisle Floyd’s Citizen of Paradise - a monodrama on Emily Dickinson, New Mexico Fragments by Stephen Bachicha and works by Daniel Brewbaker. She also debuted the role of the mother in Tan Dun’s Grammy-nominated The First Emperor at the Metropolitan Opera (directed by cinematic legend Zhang Yimou).

Mentzer received her BM and MM from the Juilliard School. Her operatic training was with the Houston Opera Studio. A mentor to young singers, she serves on the board of the George London Foundation and the W.M. Sullivan Foundation; taught for 12 years as professor of voice at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, at DePaul University in Chicago, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

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