Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham can so completely inhabit a role that it's easy to believe she's a hysterical high priestess (Iphigenie at the Lyric this season) or an elegant, sophisticated young man having an affair with an older woman (Octavian in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, a stellar performance at the Lyric last season). Her musicality and artistry are exceptional, her sound rich and lusciously warm--qualities all showcased in her 2003 recording of a Carnegie Hall recital with her longtime collaborator, pianist Malcolm Martineau. He joins her here for an evening of all-French fare by, among others, Bizet, Franck, Faure, Saint-Saens, and Debussy. This is a rare opportunity to hear this dazzling superstar outside the opera hall. Former Sun-Times critic Wynne Delacoma will lead a preconcert conversation at 6:45 PM. a 8 PM, Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th, 773-702-8068, $30, $11 for students. --Barbara Yaross
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mitch Jenkins.