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Residency a homecoming for soprano

Susan Gouthro returns to Kingston and Queen's as artist-in-residence at the Dan School of Drama and Music, will perform at The Isabel on March 9.

Susan Gouthro returns to Kingston and Queen's as Artist-in-Residence at Dan School of Drama and Music, will perform at The Isabel on March 9.
Soprano Susan Gouthro (Artsci'99) will be artist-in-residence at the Dan School of Drama and Music from March 5 to 10 and will perform at The Isabel on March 9. (Supplied Photo)

When Canadian soprano Susan Gouthro arrives at the Dan School of Drama and Music as the artist-in-residence from March 5 to 10, it will also be a homecoming for the Queen’s University alumna.

After graduating in 1999 with a Bachelor of Music, Ms. Gouthro then completed her formal training with a Master’s of Music from Western University. Her training then led her to Europe and she took up a permanent soloist position with the Kiel Opera House from 2002-2014, performing roles including Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust, Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Rosalinde in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.

During her Queen’s residency, Ms. Gouthro will visit several classes, lead a vocal master class and will be available for consultation with students or faculty. The residency will culminate with a public recital with Queen’s alumna and pianist Allison Gagnon, at the Isabel Bader Centre on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 pm. The program includes works by Poulenc, Wolf, Burge, Harbison and Yeston.

She is certain that returning to Queen’s, and her hometown Kingston, will be special.

“I haven’t had much contact at all with the university since I left. I had been toying with the idea of doing a concert in Kingston or at Queen’s for years but it just hadn’t come to fruition since I was always working in Germany,” she says. “I’ve never really sung professionally in my own country, let alone hometown.  Therefore, despite singing professionally for 15 years, many of my friends and family have not had the opportunity to see me perform live. So, doing this concert at Queen’s enables me not only to perform for the university and music community, but also for some dear friends and family members.” 

Dr. Gagnon has led an outstanding career both as a pianist and an educator. She currently directs the Collaborative Piano Program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and appears in recital with both instrumental and vocal colleagues. Before joining the UNCSA faculty in 1998, she taught at Queen’s and was staff pianist at McGill University.

Recently, Gouthro moved to Harrisonburg, Va., where she is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance, Pedagogy and Literature at James Madison University.

However, Queen’s will always be a special place for her, thanks to the friendships she developed as well as finding her love of music even though she started off in English studies.

“My time as a student at Queen’s is very full of fond memories,” she says. “I remember vividly switching into the School of Music and just being amazed at how I was learning something new each day that I had never heard of before.  You see I fell into music and did not have a background of musical training. Starting at 21 is late indeed – but it worked. I was fascinated with the idea of performing and so drawn to it.  I am so grateful to have found the opportunity to have that nurtured at Queen’s.” 

Concert information and tickets are available at The Isabel website. Further information about the performers is available online.

Gouthro’s residency is supported by the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund and the Faculty of Arts and Science Visiting Scholar program.