From Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra’s A Sea Symphony

“Later in the movement, soprano Susan Nelson enters, at first within the harmonic confines of the orchestra, from which she then ascends to a range all her own. Her voice is rich and pleasing, and well suited for the Vaughan Williams. It is always interesting how one moment in a piece can define the whole. For me, that occurred at the end of the first movement as Nelson rose to her final note, which she touched with absolute precision and held unwavering to its designated release… exquisite.”

-James Chaudoir, Appleton Post-Crescent


“At the core of the story is a romance between a beautiful captain’s daughter, Josephine (Susan Nelson), and a lowly sailor, Ralph Rackstraw (Kevin R. Siembor). Nelson carries their scenes, as well as ones she shares with other characters. Her voice drives out above the orchestra and her presence elevates the performances of those around her.”

– Christopher Kidder-Mostrom, NewCity Stage (review of HMS Pinafore, Savoyaires)

“… matched by lovely, full-voiced Susan Nelson as his love interest, Josephine. Both talented singers … effortlessly caress Sullivan’s soaring melodies and Gilbert’s sharp dialogue, much to the audience’s pleasure. Ms. Nelson sings with a mischievous twinkle in her eye that tells audiences that her Josephine is not about to be railroaded into an arranged marriage and she’s really just a young girl who’s up for some fun and romance in life.

– Colin Douglas, Chicago Theater Review (review of HMS Pinafore, Savoyaires)

“The performance began with the Miserere Mei, Deus of Gregorio Allegri, the composer’s most famous work… it was the most singularly beautiful moments of the afternoon materialized, with sopranos Shannon Love and Susan Nelson filling the sanctuary with soaring gossamer lines that captured their lyrics’ quintessence of salvation of spiritual salubrity.

-Tim Sawier, Chicago Classical Review (review of Music of the Baroque’s Renaissance Voices – Sacred and Profane)

“Soprano Susan Nelson was backed by Palomar’s string quartet (Jeff Yang and Mark Agnor, violins; violist Ben Weber and Berger on cello).  With her clear, strong soprano, Nelson easily handled the shifts in mood. She romped merrily through the gospel-flavored “Beehive.” But she found a brooding depth in the unpredictable melodies that flowed seamlessly above the sometimes raw, urgent accompaniment in “End of My Days.””

– Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review (review of Are You Worried About the Rising Cost of Funerals?, Access Contemporary Music)

“As Canio’s wife, Nedda, Susan Nelson’s soprano was crystal clear with breathtaking dynamic contrasts and gorgeous high notes that were perfectly placed every time. Kenneth Mattice brought her forbidden lover, Silvio, to life with a compassionate characterization and strong voice. They were perfectly paired, their chemistry particularly noticeable in the duet, “E allor perchè,” which was one of the evening’s highlights.” 

– Gus Mercante, The News Journal (review of Pagliacci, Opera Delaware)

“The spotlight belongs to Susan Nelson who soars musically, dramatically and emotionally.  She is a triple threat who dominates the space around her.”

–  Caryl Huffaker, The Kennett Paper (review of Pagliacci, Opera Delaware)

“Susan Nelson as Nedda had the kind of voice and acting that had you glued to her. Her ability to sing the high notes and phrase beautifully were matched by her ability to sing no matter whether she was fighting, jumping or sprawled in her lover’s lap.”

– Margaret Darby, Delaware Arts Info (review of Pagliacci, Opera Delaware)

“Soprano Susan Nelson brings a full, powerful voice – agile and pliant – to the role of Fiordiligi. Her Act II aria begging her absent lover’s pardon for even thinking about yielding to temptation is sensitive and moving; a little later, her voice is radiant as she sings of reuniting with her beloved and remaining resolute in temptation’s face.”
-Gary Panetta, Peoria Journal Star (review of Cosi fan tutte, Opera Illinois)

“Susan Nelson has a beautiful and well-trained voice and was able to convey a wide gamut of emotion in her singing and her acting. She has control, expression and strength enough to come through strong and clear in her duets with Tamino, the musical culmination of the show.”
-Delaware Arts Info (The Magic Flute, Opera Delaware)

“…a strong cast including Susan Nelson who sings with joy in her voice…”
-Caryl Huffaker, The Kennett Paper (The Magic Flute, Opera Delaware)

“Susan Nelson as Papagena and the Three Ladies — Julia Turner, Suzanne Woods and Kellie Van Horn — were especially impressive.
-Albert H. Cohen, St. Petersburg Times (The Magic Flute at Sarasota Opera)

“The brief, yet memorable, appearance of Susan Nelson as Papagena is full of life and vigor as she and Papageno rejoice in love and plans for a family.”
-Gayle Williams, Herald Tribune (The Magic Flute at Sarasota Opera)

“Soprano Susan Nelson floated her solo in the second Ravel chanson, Three Beautiful Birds of Paradise, gorgeously.”
– John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune (Grant Park Music Festival)

With plenty of space to blossom in the intimate hall, the voices of soprano Susan Nelson, mezzo-soprano Nina Heebink and baritone Brad Jungwirth sounded extraordinarily rich.

– Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review (Access Contemporary Music’s Newspaper Blackout Poems)

“Susan Nelson displayed a lovely pure soprano and sang quite gloriously in the central Trois beaux oiseaux de Paradis.”

-Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review (Grant Park Music Festival)

“A very exciting talent.”

– The American Prize in Vocal Performance, Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, PROFESSIONAL OPERA DIVISION

Chicago Ensemble – May 5, 2015 Reviews:

Laughter through tears: The Chicago Ensemble at International House

The Chicago Ensemble roves, enjoyably, from Bach to Bloch