Suzanna Guzmán

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Suzanna Guzmán (born in East Los Angeles, California) is an American mezzo-soprano and television host. Currently she is the host of KCET's weekly series Open Call. As a singer she has performed with international and American opera companies as a principal artist: La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, La favorite in Montpellier, France, and Goya at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. She is known for her portrayal of the title role in Carmen for Houston Grand Opera's multimedia production (known as the "MTV Carmen"), a role she has performed more than 200 times.


She made her stage debut in 1982 with the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts in a touring company of Se Necesíta Costureras con Experiencia with Dame Carmen Zapata. Later that year she became a member of San Diego's Old Globe Theater's Educational Tour under Craig Noel, David McClellan and Jack O'Brien. She began her career in Musical Theatre with California regional companies (Sacramento Music Circus, Lyric Dinner Theatre, Grand Dinner Theatre) and appeared in the role of Amazon No. 2 with Yul Brynner on his final national tour and 4000th performance of The King and I, and Carousel directed by Jamie Hammerstein at the Kennedy Center. She gained entrance to opera as winner of several competitions, San Francisco Opera, Guild Opera, Fuch, Zachary and in 1985 she entered the Metropolitan Opera Competition, and tied for first place of the Western Region with Deborah Voigt. As a national finalist, she met two important impresarios: Ian Campbell (San Diego Opera) and Francis Rizzo, (Washington Opera). In 1985 she made her operatic debut as the voice of Antonia's Mother in San Diego Opera's production of The Tales of Hoffmann starring Nelly Miraciou, James Morris, Judith Forst and conducted by Theo Alcantara and has sung as a principal artist in nearly every season since then until her most recent performance of the Page in Salome with Lise Lindstrom. Performances in San Diego have included:

Concurrently it was Frank Rizzo of Washington Opera who hired her for ten consecutive seasons with Washington Opera including a successful run as the title role in Carmen. It was there, at the Kennedy Center, that she first worked with the opera composer/director Giancarlo Menotti on his new opera Goya (with Plácido Domingo), which led to further collaborations including new productions of 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 Peter Hemmings; her roles there include:

  • Peep Bo in The Mikado (directed by Jonathan Miller with Dudley Moore),
  • Maiden 5 in Elektra (Leonie Rysanek),
  • Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte,
  • Isaura in Tancredi (Marilyn Horne, Henry Lewis conductor)
  • La Gitana in El Gato Montés starring Plácido Domingo,
  • Mrs. Fox in Tobias Picker's world premiere of Fantastic Mr. Fox,
  • Third Lady in the Gerald Scharfe production of Magic Flute,
  • Berta in Barber of Seville directed by John Copley with Federica Von Stade, Raul Jimenez,
  • Cornelia with Giulio Cesare (with David Daniels, Bejun Mehta, Elizabeth Futral) Peter Grimes with Phillip Langridge, directed by the John Schlessinger,
  • the Governess in Pique Dame with Plácido Domingo, Elena Obratsova, Valery Gerghiev,
  • Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Catherine Malfitano and Yoko Watanabe,
  • Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld with Peter Mark Shifter, Dom DeLuise, Tracy Dahl, John de Main conducting,
  • Flora in La Traviata with Renee Flemming, Elizabeth Futral, and Ana Maria Martinez, directed by Marta Domingo,
  • Gertrude in Romeo et Juliette with Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko,
  • La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi directed by William Freiedkin, starring Sam Ramey, Ros Elias, Jessica Rivera, Rolando Villazon,
  • Siebel in Faust with Veronica Villaroel and Sam Ramey,
  • Frau Mary in Flying Dutchman with Greg Fedderly and directed by Julie Taymor,
  • Annina in Der Rosenkavalier with Ashley Putnam, Federica von Stade, directed by Jonathan Miller,

She has worked with directors: John Schlesinger, William Friedkin, Francesca Zambello, Franco Zeffirelli, Sir Peter Hall, and Robert Wilson; and with composers: Jake Heggie Dead Man Walking; 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) She is on the 2012 roster of the [Los Angeles Music Center Education Division] and continues performing for the Los Angeles Opera Education Department. 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. 2011 marked the 10th anniversary performance as the Virgen de Guadalupe in the Latino Theatre Centers annual pageant La Virgen de Tepeyac;Dios Inantzin with Sal Lopez as Juan Diego, Geoff Rivas, Chris Franco, as Friales, Dyana Ortella as La Criada and Castulo Guerra as the Bishop.

She hosted for nine seasons (1994–2003)on the weekly radio broadcast L.A. Opera Notes co-hosting first with radio legend Rich Capparela and later with Los Angeles favorite, baritone Rod Gilfry Mount Wilson Productions. Later she appeared for three seasons as producer, writer and host of Sunday Evening Opera. She serves on the USC Thornton School of Music Board of Advisors, Board of UCLA's Design for Sharing, the Education Committee of Los Angeles Opera. Her one-woman show, Don't Be Afraid: It's Just Opera, was created in 1984 to introduce inner city children to the world of opera. She continues those performances and has appeared in schools and community centers across the United States.


  • Carlos Chavez Volume 3 (soloist)
    • Grammy nominated (Best Classical CD, Best Classical Small Ensemble)
    • Latin Grammy Nominated
    • Southwest Chamber Music
    • Tambuco Percussion Ensemble with Alba Quezada
    • Cambria (1 CD) CD 8852
  • Three Friends: Music of Ian Krouse (soloist)
    • The Debussy Trio
    • Ian Krouse, composer
    • Marcia Dickstein, conductor
    • Rubeda Canis Musica (1 CA) B000050AE1
    • US Release September 4, 2001
  • Florencia en el Amazonas (Paula)
    • Daniel Catan, composer
    • Patrick Summers, conductor with Ana Maria Martinez, Patricia Schumann, Chad Shelton…
    • Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
    • Albany Record (2 CD) TROY 531/532
    • US Release September 2002
  • Goya (Duchess of Alba)
    • Giancarlo Menotti, composer
    • Steven Mercurio, conductor with Cesar Hernandez, Andrew Wentzel, Penelope Daner
    • Spoleto Festival Orchestra
    • ICARUS Nuova Era (2 CD) 7060/61
    • Italy release April 1992
    • US re release Copa d'Oro Records


  • OPEN CALL Host 2012 KCET Los Angeles
  • CSI: New York ("Murder Sings the Blues") (2006) Madame Butterfly
    • Directed by Oz Scott
  • Twilight of the Golds (1997) Brünnhilde
    • Directed by Ross Kagan Marks
    • Written by Jonathan Tolins
  • Courage: Profiles in Creativity (1998 documentary) Herself
    • Directed by Deanna McDaniels
  • Suzanna Guzmán – Native Angelena: Voice of an Angel (2002) Herself
    • Associate Press Award Best Short Profile
    • Producer Gay Yee
    • Host Val Zavala for PBS LIFE AND TIMES
  • El Gato Montes (1995) Gypsy woman
    • Directed by Emilio Sagi


External links[edit]