|Suzanna Guzmán, born in East Los Angeles, California, is an American mezzo-soprano. Ms. Guzman has sung in major operas such as La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, La Favorite in Montpellier, France, and Goya at the Spoleto Festival in Italy.
She garnered international acclaim for her portrayal of the title role in Carmen for Houston Grand Opera's critically acclaimed multimedia production (known as the "MTV Carmen"), a role she has repeated more than one hundred times in major houses across the globe.
Ms. Guzmán made her stage debut with the Bilingual Fdn. of the Arts in a touring company of Se Necesita Costureras Con Experiencia with Latino icon Dame Carmen Zapata. Shortly thereafter she became a member of San Diego's [Old Globe Theater]'s Educational Tour under the auspices of Craig Noel, David McClellan and Jack O'Brien.
Most of her early career successes were in musical theater rather than opera, such as playing as Amazon No. 2 with the legendary Yul Brynner on his final tour (and 4000th performance) of The King and I, and Carousel directed by the late Jamie Hammerstein at the Kennedy Center.
At the urging of an early voice teacher, she entered the Metropolitan Opera Competition, where, as a National FInalist, she caught the attention of impresario Francis Rizzo, who hired her for ten consecutive seasons with Washington Opera. It was there, at the Kennedy Center, that she first worked with the legendary opera composer/director Giancarlo Menotti on his new opera Goya (with Plácido Domingo), which led to further collaborations including new productions of The Consul, The Saint of Bleecker Street, and Amahl and the Night Visitors, for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress.
In 1987 she was named an Associate Artist of the Los Angeles Opera by the late Peter Hemmings and has appeared as a principal artist in over thirty-three productions to date.
Ms. Guzmán's prowess as a singing actress has made her a favorite of many well-known directors such as John Schlesinger, William Friedkin, Francesca Zambello, Franco Zeffirelli, Sir Peter Hall, and Robert Wilson; these same talents have made her popular with contemporary composers as well: Tobias Picker (Fantastic Mr. Fox), Daniel Catán (Florencia en el Amazonas), Cliff Eidelmann (Wedding in the Night Garden), Ian Krouse (Lorca, Child of the Moon), Richard Rodgers Melnick (Chinese Cabaret), and Lee Holdridge (Journey to Córdoba and Concierto para Mendez) have all called upon her to originate roles in their operas.
She performs with orchestras and symphonies across the United States, is on the prestigious roster of the [Los Angeles Music Center Education Division] and is the 2006-2007 Resident Artist of the [California Philharmonic]. She sang as a principal soloist with Tambuco Percussion Ensemble of Mexico and the Southwest Chamber Music's CD Carlos Chavez Volume 3, which was nominated for a 2006 Best Classical CD, Best Small Ensemble and for Best Classical Latin Grammy.
In addition to on stage performance Ms. Guzmán is a well known radio host appearing for almost nine seasons on the popular weekly broadcast L.A. Opera Notes cohosting first with radio legend Rich Caperella and later with Los Angeles favorite, baritone [Rod Gilfry]. Later she appeard for three seasons as producer, writer and host of Sunday Evening Opera.
She is an advocate of arts in education, serving on the [USC Thorntan School of Music Board of Advisors],Board of UCLA's Design for Sharing, the Education Committee of Los Angeles Opera, and the [Pasadena Arts Coun]cil, . Her award-winning one-woman show, Don't Be Afraid: It's Just Opera, has been performed for more than 200,000 students nationwide.
|Grants awarded:||Carlos Chavez Volume 3 (soloist)
Three Friends: Music of Ian Krouse (soloist)
Florencia en el Amazonas (Daniel Catán)
Goya (Giancarlo Menotti)