Susanna Phillips, Soprano
“The soprano Susanna Phillips had what could be a breakthrough night at the Met as Fiordiligi… She has the purity and bloom of a Mozart lyric soprano. Yet her voice can lift phrases with penetrating sound and deep richness.”
(Anthony Tommassini, The New York Times)
Alabama-born soprano Susanna Phillips, recipient of The Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, continues to establish herself as one of today’s most sought-after singing actors and recitalists. The 2016-17 season will see Ms. Phillips return to the Metropolitan Opera for a ninth consecutive season starring as Clémence in the Met premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin conducted by Susanna Mälkki, as well as a return of her acclaimed Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème. In March 2017, Ms. Phillips will make her Zurich Opera debut as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She also appears as Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Boston Baroque and Martin Pearlman.
2016-2017 orchestra engagements include a return to the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting a program of American songs, Mozart’s “Exsultate Jubilate” and his Mass in C Minor with Jane Glover and the Music of the Baroque, the Britten War Requiem with Kent Tritle and the Oratorio Society of New York, as well as Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Robert Spano leading the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Phillips will also perform recitals at the Celebrity Series of Boston, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, and her popular dual recital program with Eric Owens at Carnegie Hall and the Washington Performing Arts.
Last season saw Ms. Phillips return to the Metropolitan Opera starring as Rosalinde in the Jeremy Sams production of Die Fledermaus conducted for the first time by music director James Levine, as well as a reprise of her house debut role of Musetta in La Bohème. Additional engagements included a return to the stage of Lyric Opera of Chicago as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet under the baton of Emmanuel Villaume. Additional engagements included Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony, the Filas Requiem with Kent Tritle leading the Oratorio Society of New York, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the St. Louis Symphony and David Robertson, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with David Robertson leading the Sydney Symphony, as well as a recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Brian Zeger.
Highlights of Ms. Phillips’ previous opera seasons include numerous additional Metropolitan Opera appearances as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte in what the New York Times called a “breakthrough night,” Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Julie Taymor’s production of The Magic Flute, Musetta in La Bohème (both in New York and on tour in Japan), Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and as a featured artist in the Met’s Summer Recital Series in both Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park. She also appeared at Carnegie Hall for a special concert performance as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Reneé Fleming – a role she went on to perform, to rave reviews, at Lyric Opera of Chicago and as Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony. She made her Santa Fe Opera debut as Pamina, and subsequently performed a quartet of other Mozart roles with the company as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Arminda in La Finta Giardiniera, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. As a member of the Ryan Opera Center, Phillps sang the female leads in Roméo et Juliette and Die Fledermaus. Additional roles include Elmira in Reinhard Keiser’s The Fortunes of King Croesus, and the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and Agrippina, as well as appearances with the Oper Frankfurt, Dallas Opera, Minnesota Opera, Fort Worth Opera Festival, Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Birmingham.
Highly in demand by the world’s most prestigious orchestras, Ms. Phillips has appeared with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Oratorio Society of New York, Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Santa Fe Concert Association.
A fervent chamber music collaborator, Ms. Phillips recently teamed with bass-baritone Eric Owens for a recital of all Schubert which they have taken on tour in Chicago with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at the Gilmore Festival, and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Additional recital engagements included chamber music concerts with Paul Neubauer and Anne Marie McDermott, an appearance at the Parlance Chamber Music Series with Warren Jones, the 2014 Chicago Collaborative Works Festival, the Emerson String Quartet in Thomasville, Georgia with Warren Jones and colleagues from the Metropolitan Opera, and at Twickenham Fest, a chamber music festival she co-founded in her native Huntsville, Alabama. The soprano also made her solo recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall with pianist Myra Huang.
Other recent concert and oratorio engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, the Fauré and Mozart Requiems, Carmina Burana, and Handel’s Messiah. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson, Rob Fisher, and the New York Pops. Following her Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut under Marin Alsop, the Baltimore Sun proclaimed: “She’s the real deal.”
In August 2011, Ms. Phillips was featured at the opening night of the Mostly Mozart Festival, which aired live on Live From Lincoln Center on PBS. The same year saw the release of Paysages, her first solo album on Bridge Records, which was hailed as “sumptuous and elegantly sung” (San Francisco Chronicle). The following year saw her European debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona.
As resident artist at the 2010 and 2011 Marlboro Music Festivals, she was part of Marilyn Horne Foundation Gala at Carnegie Hall, made her New York solo recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC under the auspices of the Vocal Arts Society.
In 2005, Ms. Phillips won four of the world’s leading vocal competitions: Operalia (both First Place and the Audience Prize), the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacAllister Awards, and the George London Foundation Awards Competition. She has also claimed the top honor at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, and has won first prizes from the American Opera Society Competition and the Musicians Club of Women in Chicago. Ms. Phillips has received grants from the Santa Fe Opera and the Sullivan Foundation, and is a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center. She holds both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and continues collaboration with her teacher Cynthia Hoffmann.
A native of Huntsville, Alabama, over 400 people traveled from her hometown to New York City in December 2008 for Ms. Phillips’ Metropolitan Opera debut in La Bohème. She returns frequently to her native state for recitals and orchestral appearances.
Date Last Edited: July 2016