Susanna Stranders is one of the most gifted répétiteurs I have ever worked with, in some 35 years experience in opera houses in Europe and America. She is sensitive to the needs of singers and of conductors, and interacts equally naturally with famous stars and with students and choristers… I have to say that she she is an enormous asset to our life here at Covent Garden…
David Syrus, Head of Music, Royal Opera House, London
Warwick Thompson, Metro and Bloomberg
The first time I worked with Susie was in 2006 on Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and I have been lucky to work with her on many other things since, like Il Tabarro and Anna Nicole. Her playing and presence has blown me away since day one. Susie is extremely musical and sensitive and gives one a feeling of complete support and inspires you to give your best, as she is always giving her best. It’s very understandable that great conductors and singers love working with Susie. Susie’s presence lifts up a room of people – her concentration, dedication, ability and sense of humour make everyone around her happy and eager to work. She has been working with singers so long now that she has developed a true ability to coach, helping you to sing better technically, which is a rare gift from someone not trained as a singer. Apart from all these skills, the most outstanding skills is of course Susie’s playing, which has deeply moved me on many occasions. I feel very lucky to have worked with her and truly hope to do so many more times.
Eva-Maria Westbroek, soprano, Royal Opera House, London
Every time I work with Susie I enjoy her fresh approach and attention to detail. She has a wonderful ear and ability to get the voice working smoothly, through detailed work on production of vowels and consonants. Along with this she is always questioning the text and intentions of what one is singing. This combination of fine tuning the voice and the story makes for superb results. I would highly recommend her to all.
Anna Devin, soprano, Royal Opera House, London
I simply love working with Susie. She is a fantastic coach, warm, full of beautiful imagination, very direct and encouragingly positive. Nothing escapes her sensitive, musical ears. Incredibly patient, detailed work on diciton and an x-ray like vision of what needs to be fixed ready with an instant solution.
Ilona Domnich, soprano, English National Opera, London
I first had the pleasure of working with Susie at the Glyndebourne Fesitval. What is impressive about Susie as a répétiteur is her ability to get the best results out of a singer in such a positive and encouraging way. I always feel enriched after her coachings.
Martha Bredin, mezzo soprano, Glyndebourne Festival, England
Susanna Stranders is a special and passionate musician, gifted with immense skill in communication. She can draw music out of a piano that not even the piano knew was there. She does the same with the singers she is working with. Her creative and insightful approach to vocal music make her a treasure to any singer wanting to improve their craft. I can’t recommend her highly enough!
Laurel Cameron, mezzo soprano, Metropolitan Opera Chorus, New York, USA
Susie is one of the most inspiring coaches I have worked with. Not only does she hear everything, but she helps you to sing your best without referring to standard “technique” and perhaps stepping on teachers toes. She uses the most wonderful imagery to stop you thinking about the minutiae while making all the details better!
Máire Flavin, soprano, London
Susie Stranders is an outstanding vocal coach. She is a fine player, equally comfortable in opera and song, complemented by a strong sense of period and style. But, more importantly, she has an instinctive feel for the operation of the singing mind and body. Her creativity and use of imagery and gesture allows her to approach technical and interpretational issues from different angles. Her understanding of drama helps singers unify music and text, ensuring neither is compromised.
Ashley Riches, baritone, Royal Opera House, London
Susie has a fantastic, fresh way of conveying her ideas, clearly yet imaginatively. Her energy is infectious! She is a superb musician and brings the best out of those she coaches.
Rowan Hellier, mezzo soprano, London
Susie brings a fantastic energy to every session with a limitless imagination and keen attention to detail. She works in a supportive yet challenging way, always encouraging me to explore the music in new ways. Susie really understands the voice and always finds ways to make technically difficult pieces feel like fun. With an extensive knowledge across the whole repertoire and such a generous personality, Susie is a pleasure to work with!
Caroline Foulkes, soprano, Oxenfoord International Summer School, Scotland
Susie coaches with a verve and a wonderfully infectious enthusiasm. I always leave the room inspired by her extraordinary knowledge and fervent passion.
Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, mezzo soprano, London
Susanna Stranders has everything a singer could want in a coach: detailed, focused work on every aspect of the singer’s craft – language, phrasing, tone, placement – with a joy and love of music that is infectious and the ability to see the larger scope of the music as a whole. She makes me a better singer and, importantly, she makes me *feel* like a better singer by the end of a session.
Zoë Freedman, soprano, Trinity College of Music, London
Susanna Stranders is one of the most talented people I have encountered. Working with her is an inspiration and joy and she easily offers singers a full toolbox to help them quickly improve.
Laura Lendman, mezzo soprano, Germany
Coachings with Susie are never anything other than immensely useful and thought-provoking, she is a true facilitator and a great teacher. She uses her musicality and instincts to get the very best out of me every time I see her, arias always feel better at the end of a session. Exactly what one wants from a coach!
Matthew Sprange, baritone, London
It is a huge privilege and an enormous pleasure to work with Susie Stranders. She has a forensic eye for detail while never losing the whole arc of the piece. Susie has a very large battery of strategies to help a singer with a particular problem without making the singer feel self-conscious and without treading on the realm of the singing teacher. To be accompanied by Susie is like being carried on a magic carpet.
David Freedman, bass, Opera a la carte
Susie is a deeply passionate coach and leads by example by her incredibly musical renderings at the piano. I’ve learned a huge amount from her.
Ben Woodward, répétiteur, London