Performance Wednesday, February 1, 2012 | 8 PM

Susan Graham
Malcolm Martineau

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Goethe's Mignon, Shakespeare’s Ophelia and Lady Macbeth, and other heroines are represented on this program that focuses on women from throughout history and literature. It’s another example of the artistic range that has prompted The New Yorker to rave that Susan Graham’s is "a voice without regrets, healthy, rounded, ineffably musical, and eager for a challenge.”


  • Susan Graham, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Malcolm Martineau, Piano


  • PURCELL "Tell Me, Some Pitying Angel" (The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation)
  • BERLIOZ "La mort d'Ophélie," Op. 18, No. 2
  • SCHUBERT "Heiss mich nicht reden," D.877, No. 2
  • SCHUMANN "So lasst mich scheinen," Op. 98a, No. 9
  • LISZT "Kennst du das Land" (Mignons Lied)
  • TCHAIKOVSKY "None but the Lonely Heart," Op. 6, No. 6
  • DUPARC "Romance de Mignon"
  • WOLF "Kennst du das Land"
  • JOSEPH HOROVITZ Lady Macbeth
  • POULENC Fiançailles pour rire
    ·· La dame d'André
    ·· Dans l'herbe
    ·· Il vole
    ·· Mon cadavre est doux comme un gant
    ·· Violon
    ·· Fleurs
  • Selections to be announced from the stage


  • Susan Graham

    Susan Graham, one of the world's foremost stars of opera and recital, is a compelling and versatile singing actress. Celebrated as an expert in French music, Ms. Graham has been awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur title by the French government.

    Highlights of Ms. Graham's 2011-2012 season include the Grammy Award winner's much anticipated Canadian Opera Company debut as Iphigénie in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride. Ms. Graham also returns to the San Francisco Opera in the title role of Handel's Xerxes, and the Paris Opéra for performances of Franz Lehár's popular operetta The Merry Widow. She also embarks on an American recital tour with her frequent collaborator, pianist Malcolm Martineau.

    Ms. Graham created the part of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking for San Francisco Opera, and performed leading roles in two Metropolitan Opera world premieres: An American Tragedy by Tobias Picker and The Great Gatsby by John Harbison.

    Born in New Mexico and raised in Texas, Ms. Graham studied at Texas Tech University and the Manhattan School of Music, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2008. She won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Schwabacher Award from San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program, as well as a Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Ms. Graham was Musical America's 2004 Vocalist of the Year, and in 2006, her hometown of Midland, Texas, declared September 5 to be "Susan Graham Day" in perpetuity.

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  • Malcolm Martineau

    Recognized as one of the leading accompanists of his generation, Malcolm Martineau has worked with many of the world's greatest singers, including Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Janet Baker, Olaf Bär, Barbara Bonney, Ian Bostridge, Angela Gheorghiu, Thomas Hampson, Della Jones, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Magdalena Kožená, Solveig Kringelborn, Jonathan Lemalu, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Karita Mattila, Lisa Milne, Ann Murray, Anna Netrebko, Anne Sofie von Otter, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Michael Schade, Frederica von Stade, Sarah Walker, and Bryn Terfel.

    Mr. Martineau has presented his own series at Wigmore Hall and at the Edinburgh International Festival. He has appeared throughout Europe at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London; La Scala in Milan; Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona; Berlin's Philharmonie and Konzerthaus; Amsterdam's Concertgebouw; and Vienna's Konzerthaus and Musikverein. He has also performed in New York's Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall; at the Sydney Opera House in Australia; and at the Aix-en-Provence, Vienna, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and Salzburg festivals.

    Recording projects have included Schubert, Schumann, and English song recitals with Bryn Terfel (Deutsche Grammophon); Schubert and Strauss recitals with Simon Keenlyside (EMI); recital records with Angela Gheorghiu and Barbara Bonney (Decca), Magdalena Kožená (Deutsche Grammophon), Della Jones (Chandos), Susan Bullock (Crear Classics), and Amanda Roocroft (Onyx); the complete Fauré songs with Sarah Walker and Tom Krause; the complete Britten folk songs (Hyperion); the complete Beethoven folk songs (Deutsche Grammophon); the complete Poulenc songs (Signum); and Britten song cycles (Onyx).

    Born in Edinburgh, Mr. Martineau studied at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Music. He was a given an honorary doctorate at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2004, and appointed an international fellow of accompaniment in 2009. Mr. Martineau is the artistic director of the 2011 Leeds Lieder+ festival.

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Bizet "Chanson d'avril"
Susan Graham, Mezzo-Soprano; Malcolm Martineau, Piano
Onyx Classics

At a Glance

Darkness and light, tragedy and merriment—this program has it all. For about half the program, we explore the inner worlds of four great, tragic women in literature. The second half of the evening shifts to Parisian vivacity and profundity.

The program begins with the most tragic mother of all: the Virgin Mary. Irish-born poet Nahum Tate provided the words for several masterpieces by the late–17th-century English genius Henry Purcell. Among these masterpieces is a scena in which the 12-year-old Christ goes missing, causing his mother’s immense distress.

One of the most heartrending madwomen in literature is Shakespeare’s Ophelia from Hamlet. The trailblazing 19th-century French composer Hector Berlioz was obsessed with Shakespeare; he even married a Shakespearean actress (though not happily). Like many composers, he was fascinated by Ophelia’s madness and death, and transformed Queen Gertrude’s narration of her sad end into beautiful music.

In the mid-1790s, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published one of the most influential novels of the late­­­­-18th and 19th centuries: Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship. Its two most powerful characters are the mad Harper and his daughter Mignon, an enigmatic creature who sings of her sorrow and dies at the story’s end. Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Henri Duparc, and Hugo Wolf were all drawn to her songs; each of them interprets her mysteries differently.

Lady Macbeth—another tragic woman from Shakespeare’s plays—appears at the beginning of the program’s second half in a powerful, dramatic scene by British composer Joseph Horovitz, whose family emigrated from Vienna in 1938. Horovitz telescopes her descent from power and ambition to sleepwalking madness.

During the miseries of World War II, Francis Poulenc continued to compose his inimitable songs, including a set of six songs to words by one of his favorite poets, Louise de Vilmorin. Famous for her poetry and delicate, mordant tales set in aristocratic milieu, her verse gave Poulenc the opportunity to write for the female voice.
Program Notes
The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Solomon in support of the 2011–2012 season.
This performance is part of Song of the Siren - Students.