Susan Platts

Susan Platts

The protégée

Published in 2005

When Susan Platts sang in her high school choir, the teacher was struck by her “lovely” voice, and urged her to take lessons. Fifteen years later, this 31-year-old mezzo-soprano is one of Canada’s finest young vocalists.

In her “extraordinary musical journey”, Platts has earned plaudits for her magnificent voice, assured musicality and remarkable vocal range. “To be able to continue with my career and study intensively with Miss (Jessye) Norman – the consummate artist – is a dream come true,” she says.

Platts began studying with voice teachers in Canada and France at the age of 16, and attended Salzburg’s Summer Academy of Fine Arts in 1992 and 1994. Having had no formal training at a music college, she attributes her development as a correct singer to working directly with leading orchestras and conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach and Pinchas Zukerman.

Illuminating Mahler
Though her repertoire is extensive, she is particularly acclaimed for her interpretations of Bach, Berlioz, Brahms, Schoenberg and Mahler, her favorite composer.

“Susan Platts illumined Mahler’s ultra-personal Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen with an inner radiance that ennobled it,” rhapsodized the Wall Street Journal after a performance at the 2002 Bard Festival in New York. Platts, a lover of folk and art songs, made her New York City recital debut at Lincoln Center’s art song series in October 2002.

Understanding a singer’s life
In addition to developing her lieder and opera skills, improving her vocal technique and interpretation, and broadening her recital repertoire during the mentoring year, Platts anticipates learning about “the many aspects of a singer’s life, its challenges and rewards. All this will hopefully give me greater confidence and understanding of my art and expression.”