Susan Patterson has taken her place as a new leading lirico-spinto soprano with highly successful portrayals of Margherita/Helena in Boito's Mefistofele, Dvorak's Rusalka, and Violetta with the English National Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre, Chimene in Massenet's Le Cid with Placido Domingo in the title role, Mme. De Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons and Tosca with the Washington Opera, Mimi and Aida with the Baltimore Opera and Manon Lescaut at the Spoleto Festival USA. She has also sung Violetta, Mozart's Donna Anna, and the three heroines of Les Contes d'Hoffmann with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Magda in the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' production of Puccini's La rondine. In 1998, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as the Italian Singer in their first staging of Richard Strauss' Capriccio.
La Traviata has been a dominant opera in Miss Patterson's career, and she has performed it with the San Francisco Opera, the New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Palm Beach Opera, Vancouver Opera, and the Montreal Opera. In April of 2001, she made her debut with the Michigan Opera Theatre as Violetta to a standing ovation from the Detroit public. When she made her European debut with the Welsh National Opera as Violetta, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, her triumph was absolute. All of the major English critics hailed her performance, naming her "a big new star," citing her "youth, security of coloratura...ability to unleash passion" and her "Ponselle-like vital energy." Her complete identification and knowledge of this role has on two occasions saved the day, for the Canadian Opera and then her debut with the Baltimore Opera, when she was able to jump in during an emergency to sing the role, earning a standing ovation in both theatres as well as an immediate re-invitation to appear in Baltimore in the 2000-2001 season for her first performances of Aida. In this same season she also appeared at the Spoleto Festival USA in her first performances of Puccini's Manon Lescaut. The 2001-2002 season included Falstaff with the Atlanta Opera, a new production of Ernani with the Reisopera in the Netherlands and Tosca with the Montreal Opera. Other recent engagements have included a United Nations TELEFOOD concert with Luciano Pavarotti in Monte Carlo, Rosalinde with the Baltimore Opera in Die Fledermaus, and the title role in Aida with Montreal Opera.
Her successes with the English National Opera led to invitations from Chandos Records to take part in their recordings of complete opera in English, and the company has released her performances as Elvira in Verdi's Ernani, Electra in Mozart's Idomeneo, and Amelia in Verdi's A Masked Ball. She is also featured on their Verdi Celebration and Great Arias and Ensembles II.
Susan Patterson was an Adler Fellow in 1986-1987 with the San Francisco Opera, as well as a member of the Merola Opera Program and the Western Opera Theatre. During her apprenticeship, she performed the roles of Donna Anna and Donna Elvira, Marguerite in Faust, as well as her early performances as Violetta. In following seasons, Miss Patterson was invited back by the Company to perform the roles of Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Angelica in Vivaldi's Orlando Furioso (video-taped San Francisco Opera performance with Marilyn Horne), Mozart's Konstanze and Fiordiligi, Helena in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Violetta. Miss Patterson has also appeared with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Pacific, the Vancouver Opera, Atlanta Opera, Indianapolis Opera, and Palm Beach Opera in a variety of roles, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Donna Anna, Musetta, Violetta, Elvira in I Puritani, Gilda, and the three heroines of Les Contes d'Hoffmann.
In Europe, Susan Patterson made her La Scala debut under the baton of Riccardo Muti in Cherubini's Lodoiska, which she later repeated in their summer festival appearances in Ravenna, Italy. She has also performed with the Netherlands Opera and Canadian Opera in Rossini's Le Comte Ory and in Mitridate, Aix-en-Provence as Konstanze, the Cologne Opera and the Paris Opera-Comique in L'Occasione fa il ladro, and videotaped the role from The Schwetzingen Festival. Other recorded performances include Le Comte Ory with the RAI in Rome and Carolina in Il matrimonio segreto (ARTS Label) and Lodoiska for Radio VARA in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.
Susan Patterson is a frequent concert soloist and has sung in Handel's Jephtha and Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, the Poulenc Gloria, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Lisbon with Kent Nagano, and Egmont with the San Francisco Symphony under Kurt Masur. Miss Patterson sang the Szymanowski Stabat Mater and Mahler's Resurrection Symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle. She sang the Verdi Requiem with the Washington Opera under the baton of Placido Domingo on the centennial anniversary of the great composer's death.
Upcoming projects include a recording of Abigaille in Verdi's Nabucco with Opera North Orchestra and Chorus for Chandos Records, and a future release of recorded arias for an all-Puccini collection for Chandos Records.
Opera Carolina Performances: