AZO Cast Members & Creatives
Susan Shafer has performed to great acclaim with opera companies throughout North America and Europe. Notable roles in her repertoire include: Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera for the Paris Opera(Bastille), Pittsburgh Opera, Teatro Comunale (Bologna), and Kentucky Opera; Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana for the New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Baltimore Opera, Canadian Opera, Florentine Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Sarasota Opera; Azucena in Il Trovatore for Hawaii Opera Theater; Klytemnestra in Elektra for the San Francisco Opera and Canadian Opera, Erda in Das Rheingold for L’Opera de Montreal, the Nurse in Boris Godunov for the Paris Opera(Bastille), Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer for Baltimore Opera and Canadian Opera, and Teatro Comunale(Bologna), and Eboli in Don Carlo for Kentucky Opera.
Other opera companies with whom she has appeared include the Houston Grand Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Omaha, and The Washington Opera. She has also appeared with the National Symphony and at the Casals Festival in concert performances of Le Coq d’Or conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Cleveland Orchestra in concert performances of Die Walküre conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi.
Notable recent engagements included appearances with Pittsburgh Opera and the Florentine Opera as Quickly in Falstaff, Opera Colorado, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Pittsburgh Opera, and Kentucky Opera as Filipeyvna in Eugene Onegin; The Atlanta Opera as Ulrica, the Canadian Opera as Genevieve in Pelleas and Melisande, L’Opera de Montreal as Erda in Das Rheingold, Florentine Opera as Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Nashville Opera as Herodias in Salome; Pittsburgh Opera as Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer and as Marthe in Faust, Florida Grand Opera as Gertrude in Romeo et Juliette, Orlando Opera as Katisha in The Mikado, Virginia Opera as Mrs. McLean inSusannah, and Des Moines Metro Opera as Gertrude in Romeo et Juliette and as the Auntie in Peter Grimes.
As a concert artist, Ms. Shafer has earned special recognition as soloist in: Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky for the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Spoleto Festival, and Greenville Symphony; Verdi Requiem for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Budapest Symphony, Berkshire Chorale Festival, Copenhagen, and Kentucky Opera; Handel’s Messiah for the Dallas Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Symphony, and Virginia Symphony; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis for the Cracow Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, and Berkshire Choral Festival; and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 for the National Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Berkshire Choral Festival, Hartford Symphony, Houston Symphony, Chautauqua Festival, Little Orchestra Society, and Pittsburgh Oratorio Society in works by Bach, Elgar, Mahler, Stravinsky, and Wagner.
Ms. Shafer is the winner of numerous awards and scholarships, most notably from the Pavarotti Competition, Shoshana Foundation, Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions, San Francisco Opera Regional Auditions, The Juilliard School, and Santa Fe Opera. She earned her B. S. and M.S. in Education with minors in music and German at Westminster College, took post-graduate study at Kent State University, and was a member of the American Opera Center at The Juilliard School. She currently resides in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania and is the artist-in -residence at Westminster College.