Performance Year: 2022
Alabama-born soprano Susanna Phillips is a recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award. Known for her sparkling portrayal of Musetta in La Bohème, Ms. Phillips has sung at the Met for 12 consecutive seasons in the roles of Musetta, Pamina, Donna Anna, Rosalinde, Antonia/Stella, Micaëla, Donna Elvira, and most recently as Countess Almaviva, a role very close to her heart. Role highlights at the Met include Fiordigili, which the New York Times called a “breakthrough night,” and Clémence in the Met premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin. Ms. Phillips was also a featured artist in the Met’s Summer Recital Series.
In 2005 Ms. Phillips won four of the world’s leading vocal competitions: Operalia (both first place and the Audience Prize), the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacAllister Awards, and the George London Foundation Awards Competition. She has also claimed the top honor at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, and has won first prizes from the American Opera Society Competition and the Musicians Club of Women in Chicago. Ms. Phillips has received grants from the Santa Fe Opera and the Sullivan Foundation, and is a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center. She holds both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School.
Recently, Ms. Phillips paid tribute to to Clara Schumann at the Library of Congress and collaborated with Jane Glover for Handel’s Messiah and Rival Divas program with Music of the Baroque. A frequent soloist at Carnegie Hall, Ms. Phillips has performed the Brahms German Requiem with the Oratorio Society of New York and participated in a concert staging as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Renée Fleming–a role Ms. Phillips went on to perform, to rave reviews, at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has also performed with the Gran Teatro del Liceu as Pamina, Cincinnati Opera as Countess Almaviva, and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in her role and company debut as Birdie in Blitzstein’s Regina with Susan Graham. She sang Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony in St. Louis and Carnegie Hall.
Highly in demand by the world’s most prestigious orchestras, Ms. Phillips has appeared with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Atlanta Symphony, La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Boston Baroque, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and her native Huntsville Symphony, where she celebrated the bicentennial of Alabama performing Strauss’s Four Last Songs.
Ms. Phillips is dedicated to oratorio works with credits including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Second and Fourth symphonies, Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass, the Fauré and Mozart Requiems, and Carmina Burana. An avid chamber music collaborator, she co-founded Twickenham Fest, a chamber music festival in her native Huntsville, Alabama alongside bassoonist and Huntsville native Matthew McDonald. In 2019, the festival celebrated its 10th anniversary of chamber music with more than 10 concerts ranging from a children’s program, to a late-night Bach concert, and Philip Lasser’s Colors of Feeling.
In summer 2021, Ms. Phillips returned to Santa Fe Opera for the world premiere of The Lord of Cries by John Corigliano. She is a native of Huntsville, Alabama, and more than 400 people traveled from her hometown to New York City in December 2008 for her Met Opera debut in La Bohème. She returns frequently to her native state for recitals and orchestral appearances.