Susanne Mentzer Announces Retirement from the Opera Stage

By Francisco Salazar

Susanne Mentzer has announced she is retiring from the opera stage.

The mezzo took to social media and said, “From somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Sad/happy tears. Going out in my own terms. I could not have had a more loving and talented group of people to be with for my final show. My first opera was Figaro and my last was as well. I have no more contracts so decided at 65.5 years of age and after 42 years singing professionally, it was a good time. Amazingly there were two people who have been with me through most of it who just happened to be working on this show: Laurie Feldman and Dennis Giacque.”

She added, “I did not expect speeches, gifts, tears from just about everyone. Thank you to the Ozawa Matsumoto Festival for the amazing 3 weeks and the wonderful send-off. My partner on stage- Patrick Carfizzi is a gem. We should have started our comedy act sooner! Bryan Wagorn sneakily got Craig Rutenberg- my friend and collaborator since 1981-on zoom, then Ben and April sent a video. Nothing makes a mom cry like their son saying, “I am so proud of you.” He had to endure me being away sometimes and I look back incredulous at how I did that but I had a super parenting partner Drew Landmesser and a slew of amazing care givers. Anne, Julie, Niecie, Elisa Billey Becker…and a few more.”

She went on to thank her management, teachers, pianists, some of her colleagues, directors, as well as numerous conductors like Eschenbach, Muti, Levine, Haitink, Colin Davis, and Marriner.

Mentzer performed at many of the great opera houses in the world including the Houston Grand Opera Studio, the  Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House, Vienna State Opera, the Cologne Opera the Opéra de Paris and at the Salzburg Festival. She has also been a professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, DePaul University, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Here is her complete message from Facebook: