A Bright Star at the MET
Photos: Courtesy Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera was Susanne Mentzer’s artistic home for many seasons during which she delighted audiences with her frequent performances of two of her signature roles: Cherubino and Dorabella in in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan tutte, respectivley. Her performances of these and other mezzo-soprano roles (e.g., Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Octavian and the Compoaser in Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and Ariadne auf Naxos, and Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann) were often aired live on the Texaco – Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast, nationally-telecast on PBS’ “Live from the MET” program 1996-97 season, or taken on the MET’s international tours. Both Figaro and Cosi are ensemble-type works, the kind Susanne Mentzer most enjoys, as clearly seen in the photos above. She and soprano Carol Vaness, shown here with her, had a working partnership and friendship of long-standing, having sung in many operas together (e.g., Norma, Anna Bolena, Don Giovanni in addition to Cosi).
Elsewhere in the U.S., Susanne Mentzer also made frequent appearances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (where she resided until her move to Houston in 2006 upon her appointment as a Professor of Music at the prestigious Rice University), Houston Grand Opera, and in California. Her concert engagements have included performances of such varied works as Ravel’s “L’enfant et les Sortileges” (which she has sung with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra in Cleveland and New York’s Carnegie Hall) Berlioz’ “Les Nuits d’Ete” (with Christoph Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony), and Alban Berg’s Seven “Early Songs” with Hans Vonk and the Orchestre National deFrance..
In Europe, where she spent the first years of her career, she performed regularly at the great houses of La Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera and the Opera National de Paris (Bastille) and in various music festivals.
|Susanne Mentzer is also familiar to West Coast opera lovers. In 1987, a young Susanne Mentzer sang Rosina at San Diego Opera; she was a hit with the audience, and was invited back to sing Octavian in 1991. Scenes from these performances are shown above. She has also performed in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Irvine. She has sung in concert with both the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific SYmphony, and San Diego Symphony. In Oct 1999 she gave a compelling performance as Romeo in Bellini’s Romeo and Juliet-inspired opera I Capuleti e I Montecchi at the LA Opera.|