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SUSAN MILLARD SCHWARZ, lyric mezzo soprano

Biography

SUSAN MILLARD SCHWARZ recently appeared with Miami Lyric Opera as la Zia Principessa in SUOR ANGELICA.   Other operatic credits include the roles of Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Opera Columbus and Tuscia Music Festival in Viterbo, Italy;  Mama Lucia in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA with Opera Project Columbus, Zweite Dame in DIE ZAUBERFLOETE with Saltnote Stageworks Festival;  Hänsel in HANSEL UND GRETEL with New York Opera Forum; Mother in AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS under the baton of William Boggs; and Angelina in TRIAL BY JURY,  Fiametta in THE GONDOLIERS, Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. PINAFORE, and Pitti Sing in THE MIKADO with Columbus Light Opera in Ohio.  She has appeared with Actors' Summer Theatre in Columbus in the leading roles of Cinderella in INTO THE WOODS, Anna Leonowens in THE KING AND I, and Nancy in OLIVER! In fall of 2007, she performed the role of Mrs. Medlock in a collaborative, touring production of THE SECRET GARDEN with Columbus Performing Arts Center, Opera Columbus, and Phoenix Theatre, which opened at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT.  As resident artist with Opera Columbus' Opera On the Go! program, Ms. Millard Schwarz sang the role of Ernesto in the touring production of THE BILLY GOATS GRUFF and Mother/Granny in LITTLE RED'S MOST UNUSUAL DAY.  She has performed scene work as Charlotte in WERTHER with Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, Orlofsky in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Carmen in CARMEN, and as Despina in COSI FAN TUTTE with OperaWorks in Los Angeles.

Additional concert and solo engagements for Ms. Millard Schwarz include appearances with Springfield Symphony Orchestra in OH; OperaModa in Chicago, IL; Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Columbus, OH; Lancaster Festival in Lancaster, OH; Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra in OH; and many area churches.  Works include the Verdi REQUIEM; Mozart REGINA COELI; a world premier of A SONG OF RENEWAL for soloist and orchestra by Leslie Savoy Burrs; the Dubois SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST,  Faurè REQUIEM; Händel MESSIAH; Mozart VESPERAE SOLENNES; various works for soloist and orchestra by John Rutter; and the Vivaldi GLORIA, among others. Her solo work can be heard on CDs, including two produced for the Lancaster Chorale, and one for recording artist, Shellie Jacobs.  She is currently recording a CD of sacred works to be promoted and distributed by Watchfire Music in NYC.

Ms. Millard Schwarz was a past Winner of Arbor Opera Theatre's Opera Idol Vocal Competition, and was the featured soloist in AOT's Gala concert that same year.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Millard Schwarz was Winner of the Era Wilder Penniston Award for vocal excellence, and was past Semi-finalist in the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition-Junior Division. Her vocal repertoire spans nine languages.

Ms. Millard Schwarz is founder and managing director of Anahata Music Project, LLC, a chamber ensemble that creates programs focusing on themes that affect humanity.  The group presents Holocaust Remembrance programs for which Ms. Millard Schwarz performs songs in English, French, Hebrew and Yiddish.

Before embarking on a full-time career as a singer, Ms. Millard Schwarz worked as an arts administrator for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and then for the Ohio Arts Council, where she ran state-wide funding programs in arts education.

As a result of her expertise as both artist and arts administrator, Ms. Millard Schwarz has become an active facilitator of Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process (CRP), a methodical process by which creative artists give and receive artistic feedback.  Further information about Liz Lerman and CRP can be found at www.danceexchange.org/projects/critical-response-process. 

Ms. Millard Schwarz received a B.A. degree from Asbury University and M.M. degree from The Ohio State University.  She has worked with directors, conductors and coaches, such as Metropolitan Opera baritone Timothy Noble, Cynthia Hoffmann at the Juilliard School, Stefano Vignati in Viterbo, Italy, Italian soprano Cecelia Valdenassi, and the world-renowned film and stage director, Lina Wertmueller.  Currently, she coaches Maestro Steven Crawford, formerly of the Metropolitan Opera.