Suzanna Guzmán, mezzo soprano, is a native of East Los Angeles. An original Associate Artists of Los Angeles Opera, she has performed with them as a principal artist in over 40 main stage productions including Isaura (Tancredi) Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) Mrs Sedley (Peter Grimes) Mrs. Fox (Fantastic Mr. Fox-world premiere) Marcellina (Marriage of Figaro) La Gitana (El Gato Montes) Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) Empress Maria (Nicolas and Alexandra- world premiere) and working with opera legends Plácido Domingo, Mtislav Rostropovich, Galina Vishneskaya, Marilyn Horne, Alfredo Krouse, Patricia Racette, Renee Fleming, James Conlon, just to name a few.
She made her operatic debut in 1984-85 season with San Diego Opera as Emiia in Verdi’s Otello and has worked with many opera companies around the world including Houston Grand Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Ludiwigshafen Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera de Geneve, Dresden Opera, Opera Montepelier, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera, Edinburgh Festival, and Opera de Nice.
Guzmán reached international attention for her portrayal of the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. Hailed by TIME magazine as “A fire-eating singing actress, devastatingly sexy!”, the role became her signature role sung to acclaim in over 200 performances around the globe. A champion of original works, she has created and appeared in lead roles in new operas notably by Jake Heggie, Daniel Catan, Giancarlo Menotti, Ian Krouse, Tobias Picker, Deborah Dratell. Her many awards and honors for music include a Grammy nod for the 2006 Best Classical recording of Carlos Chávez: Volume III with Southwest Chamber and Mexico’s Tambuco Percussion Ensemble, a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitor at the Kennedy Center directed by composer Giancarlo Menotti, first place winner of San Francisco competition, Guild Opera and National finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National competition.
An advocate of Arts Education she continues to perform her one-woman show, Don’t Be Afraid; It’s Just Opera! across the United States reaching over 200,000 inner-city students to date, and is widely recognized for her mentorship to California students.