“To be able to continue with my career and study intensively with Miss [Jessye] Norman – the consummate artist – is a dream come true.”
These were the words of Canadian mezzo-soprano Susan Platts at the prelude to her mentoring year. It was 2004. Three years later, her dream is still a reality, as the two singers have kept in touch.
Susan Platts’ career is marked by the rhythm of the many recitals she gives in the United States and abroad. In Ottawa at the end of May, she sang Verdi’s Requiem, accompanied by the National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Pinchas Zukerman. Bolstered by Jessye Norman's advice and encouragement and on the initiative of the Académie musicale de Villecroze (France), Platts is recording her first album of solos with Canadian pianist Rena Sharon. The selection includes both Schumann and Brahms.
Platts has also commissioned Canada’s Marjan Mozetich to compose an original work with orchestra for her voice. As with Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, of which Platts is particularly fond, the text will draw on the Chinese Book of Songs, the world’s oldest known anthology of poetry. Some of these texts date as far back as 3000 B.C. Next summer, Beijing will be in the spotlight as the host of the 2008 Olympic Games. In 2010, all eyes will be on Vancouver, venue of the Winter Games. Contributing to the link created between the two cultures, Susan Platts will premiere this piece in concert during the 2008/2009 radio season of the CBC Radio Orchestra in Vancouver.