Susanne Mentzer has become one of today's foremost mezzo-sopranos. She is widely admired as a specialist in trouser roles, most notably for her portrayals of Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) and also specializes in the music of Mozart, Strauss, and the bel canto repertoire. Ms. Mentzer enjoys a significant concert and recital career, with a particular interest in chamber music, and is known as an interpreter of the vocal works of Mahler and a proponent of women's music.
Ms. Mentzer has appeared at nearly every great opera house and orchestra under the batons of Muti, Masur, Mackerras, C. Davis, Bonynge, Dutoit, Mehta, Sinopoli, Ozawa, Marriner, Haitink, Chailly, R. Abbado, Eschenbach, Boulez, Norrington, Sawallisch, and others. She also has appeared in many productions of the late director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, whom she considers one of her great influences, and with the late Giorgio Strehler at La Scala.
Her extensive discography includes two recitals she often 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 (Erato), a collection of international folksongs arranged for voice and guitar with Grammy Award winning Sharon Isbin.
Susanne Mentzer has established herself as a pedagogue, frequently giving master classes in conjunction with singing engagements. This season she begins her post as Professor of Voice at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and continues her distinguished tenure on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Ms. Mentzer has degrees from The Juilliard School and was trained in the Houston Opera Studio. She received the Alexian Brothers, USA Thelan Award for her involvement with the AIDS cause in Chicago.
Last updated: February 28, 2007