This Opera Star Is Tired of Texas Stereotypes
The Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale begins its 52nd season on Saturday, Sept. 13, with an opera performance by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. Tom Michael reports on this West Texas connection to the wide world of opera.
Susan Graham is known as "America’s Favorite Mezzo." She’s won a Grammy Award and she’s sung at every major opera house in the world.
That impossible dream began in West Texas. Today Graham is known as an expert in the French repertoire. France even awarded her with the Legion of Honor.
Graham gets back to her hometown of Midland when she can. Her mother lives there. In 2006, the mayor proclaimed the 5th of September as Susan Graham Day.
Doug Brown was Graham’s high school choir director. He recently retired as a Professor of Music at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. As a student, Graham impressed Brown as the leader of the soprano section and the choir accompanist.
But, in the world of opera, West Texas doesn’t always get respect.
She has an answer for that.
And it’s not just journalists who question her. Even members of royalty have examined her Texas roots.
And another stereotype that Susan Graham wants to puncture is that opera is phony or silly.