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Latinx Artists Here and Now: Suzanna Guzman bio

May 06, 2020

Suzanna Guzman

Suzanna Guzmán, mezzo soprano, actor, tv/radio host, opera director, is a native Angelena. Born in Northeast Los Angeles she has appeared as a principal soloist with orchestras and opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera de Genève and San Diego Opera, Houston Opera, to name a few. She is best known for her portrayal of the title role in Bizet’s Carmen, (Fire-breathing actress, devastatingly sexy.” TIME magazine) and has created roles in numerous world premiere operas with notable composers Giancarlo Menotti (Goya, Duchess of Alba), Daniel Catán (Florencia en el Amazonas, Paula) Tobias Picker (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Mrs. Fox), Michael Nyman (Facing Goya- US Premiere, The Art Banker) Ian Krause (Bodas de Sangre, The Mother), Hector Armienta (Bless me, Ultima, Ultima) Marc Lowenstein (Hopscotch-The Mobile Opera, Lucha). 
Blessed to sing one last show before COVID, she appeared in March 2020 with Opera Santa Barbara as Dona Rosa in Catán’s Il Postino. December 2019 she sang the world premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Gift of the Magi, Sheila, appeared in Ragnar Kjartansson’s epic work Bliss, the 12-hour Mozart marathon singing, Marcellina; as Madame de la Halterre with Opera Del West’s acclaimed Cendrillon, and continues to hold the record for most female principal roles sung by an artist with Los Angeles Opera: over 400 performances. She is a Company member of Yuval Sharon’s experimental opera company, The Industry, and in a recent production of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, as Mrs. De Rocher, critics said: “Guzmán came across as so authentic, it transcended the artificiality of the theatrical experience. Everything seemed to melt away: the moment danced between sobering and exhilarating.” Fresno Bee.

A passionate arts advocate, Guzmán service to Arts and Community has garnered numerous awards including: 2015 Hispanic Scholarship Mentor of the Year, 2016 Mexican American Opportunity Foundation Woman of the Year, a Grammy nod for the 2006 Best Classical Recording, Helen Hayes Award best actress nomination for the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors directed by Giancarlo Menotti, an honorary PhD from Occidental College and a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nederlander Organization.
Fall of 2020 will see Guzmán return as host of KMOZART’s Sunday Evening Opera (A program she hosted for nearly ten seasons in the 1990’s along with L.A. Opera Live and Opera Notes on Air). She was Host of the PBS /Socal weekly TV series OPEN CALL for 52 episodes, co-hosted the Emmy nominated 59 th L.A. County 2018 Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and returned as host for the 60 th Holiday Celebration. A longtime member of the Music Center Education Division and Music Center on Tour, her one-woman show Don’t Be Afraid! It’s Just Opera! has been performed for over 200,000 inner-city students nationwide. She serves as master class presenter/judge for the Spotlight Awards, is the current co-director of the award-winning Opera Company at LACHSA, the only high school opera company in the US that performs a season with full orchestra. Future engagements: Sound of Music with McCoy Rigby productions in La Mirada.
Visit www.suzannaguzman.com.