Susanna believes passionately that music is a universal language which can cross any frontier and enjoys channelling her talents and energy into community-based work. Recent projects with which Susanna has been involved are:
Garsington Community Opera:
In July 2013, Susanna conducted the Garsington Community Opera, Road Rage, by Orlando Gough and Richard Stilgoe.
In July 2010, Alice Woodbridge, soprano, was accompanied on wheels and at the piano by Susanna Stranders as they cycled and sang their way the length of Britain to raise £24,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Starting in Wells, they cycled through Shropshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Northumberland before crossing the border to finish with recitals in Edinburgh, Perthshire and Fort William.
Each concert programme was centred on a song cycle and spiced up with popular operatic arias and lighter music. All venues and accommodation along the route were arranged in conjunction with music societies, festivals, friends or kind strangers who responded to pre-tour appeals. Celebrity guests who joined them on their way included Mark Anthony Turnage who composed a theme tune for Song Cycling and John Tomlinson, Mark Padmore and Michael Morley (Coutts CEO) who performed with Alice and Susanna at fundraising concerts. Friends and family joined them on bicycles, in support vehicles, performed with them, and warmed seats at their concerts during the tour.
Royal Opera House ‘Hum-along’ in Trafalgar Square:
During the summer of 2011, Susanna led the 7,500-strong crowd at Trafalgar Square in a ‘Hum-along’ to the Humming Chorus from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly as part of the BP summer Big Screen series. What wonderful support at this event, making opera truly accessible to everyone and anyone!
Royal Opera House insight evenings:
Susanna enjoys participating in the Royal Opera House educational insight evenings, which enable audience members to see ‘into the wings’ as it were. Susanna gave a pre-concert talk before a performance of Anna Nicole allowing the public the opportunity of capturing some sound bites, a glimpse of the journey from initial rehearsals to opening night, and musical context of this new and widely-discussed opera, before entering the theatre. More recently, Susanna played for the Il Trittico insight evening where Sir Antonio Pappano discussed the music and the beauty of this fantastic Puccini triple bill.
‘From page to stage’:
Susanna returned to her home town of Harpenden to give a lecture about life on the music staff of an international opera house, followed by a public coaching with one of her students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Susanna spent a few days volunteering with Epic Arts at the Tower project. Epic Arts is a disability arts charity established in 2001 and working in the UK, Cambodia and China. It reaches out to those with physical and learning disabilities of all ages and backgrounds, through workshops in dance, drama, visual arts, crafts, photography, music and story-telling.
Susanna gave a recital with Fionnuala de Burca, soprano, at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for the Concordia Foundation: