The vocally “beguiling” (The New York Times) soprano Susanna Phillips comes to Hertz Hall on Sunday, February 24 at 3:00 p.m. for her Cal Performances recital debut with pianist Myra Huang. Recipient of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera Beverly Sills Artist Award, Phillips demonstrates her “rare stylistic fluency, canny pathos and dynamic finesse” (Financial Times, London) with a program of vocal works by Franz Schubert, Ernest Chausson, Alban Berg, Olivier Messiaen, Enrique Granados and Gordon Myers. This selection, which includes little known works such as Myer’s selections from Do You Sing Mr. Twain? and Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi, Book II, as well as favorites like Schubert’s Ave Maria! Jungfrau mild!, shows that this versatile artist is not afraid to delve into the heart of English, French and German singing traditions. This recital occurs just weeks after Phillips’s Carnegie Hall debut with the same program.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Susanna Phillips first rose to prominence in 2005 after winning four international vocal competitions—Operalia, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacAllister Awards and the George London Foundation Awards Competition. She then went on to garner top honors at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, the American Opera Society Competition and the Musicians Club of Women in Chicago.
In 2011, Phillips released her first solo album, Paysages, under the Bridge Records label. The all French album consists of works by Debussy, Fauré and Messiaen, and features Myra Huang as accompanist. Phillips’ performance on the album was hailed as “sumptuous and elegant” (San Francisco Chronicle).
The 2012-2013 season marks Phillips’ fifth year at the Metropolitan Opera, where she is to play the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and later the role of Stella in Andre Previn’s operatic adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire singing opposite opera superstar Renée Fleming. During this season, Phillips is set to return to the Santa Fe Opera as the Countess in La nozze di Figaro and will perform concerts with the Oratorio Society of New York, St. Louis Symphony, and Alabama Symphony. She has also performed in concert with the Chicago and Baltimore symphony orchestras, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Santa Fe and Santa Barbara symphonies.
Pianist Myra Huang, considered “among the top accompanists of her generation” (Opera News), has performed frequently with Phillips and with tenor Nicholas Phan. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Martin Canin, her Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music under Warren Jones and has also studied at the Houston Grand Opera Studio. She performs often with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie Hall as well as at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Spain. Each year, Huang works with Plácido Domingo for his Operalia competition and she has also worked at the Palau de les Arts with artistic directors Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta.
Tickets for Susanna Phillips on February 24 at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are $46.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.