World Premiere

COMMISSIONED and performed


with Matthew Worth, baritone

Kevin Korth, piano

Tammy Hall, piano

Friction String Quartet

mezzo-soprano Melissa Dufort

premiere March 3, 2022

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Barbro Osher Recital Hall, Bowes Center

7:30 pm

Susanne Mentzer

Reg Huston

Women composers:

Libby Larsen

Tamara McLeod

Hilary Purrington

Tammy Hall(B)

BIPOC composers:

Andre Myers (B)

Jason Hainsworth (B)

Dave Ragland (B)

Stephen Bachicha (POC/I)

Michael Ching (POC)

Karim Al-Zand (POC)


Jake Heggie

Daron Hagen

Richard Pearson Thomas

Kurt Erickson

Reg Huston, has been writing poems throughout his life but he started writing prolifically during the COVID 19 shutdown. When Susanne read some of his poems she felt that some would be enhanced by setting them to music. What started as a random Christmas gift to Reg with a setting by Jake Heggie turned into a full-fledged project of song commissions.

He is currently working on a book of illustrated children’s animal poems and looking to publish Gray Matters, a compilation of poems about aging

A little more about Reg:

Reg is a performer, a father, and a supporter of youth related performing arts.

A native of Sacramento, CA he studied at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA where he received his Bachelor and Master Degrees and quickly went into the opera world by being a charter member of the Hidden Valley Music Seminars opera ensemble, singing with the Music Academy of the West and with the San Francisco Opera Merola program before heading to do advanced studies in Vienna.

He performed as Figaro in the Marriage of Figaro, directed by Peter Ustinov at the Salzburg Mozarteum resulting in a two-year contract with the Hamburg State Opera in Hamburg, Germany. After returning to the states Reg continued to perform at Hidden Valley Opera where he performed over 30 roles from 1977-1986. For 35 years, he has performed leading roles with The Western Stage, Pacific Repertory Theater and the Forest Theater Guild. He has also performed as a vocal soloist with every major performing ensemble in Monterey County.

In addition to his performing life, Reg oversaw the care for many programs for high school students (summer orchestra and choral programs) as well as outreach programs for middle schools throughout Monterey County (called Sound Encounters). Reg then became Director of Programs with Youth Music Monterey (1988-1994) which sponsored the Youth and Honors Orchestras of Monterey County and Summer Music Monterey – 2 to 3 week camps in jazz and orchestral music for high school students.

As a former professional fundraiser for a multitude of charities in Monterey County, he is the Founder and Executive Director of the S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County (Support the Arts Regionally). With a life-long connection with the theatrical experience Reg felt a desire to help provide opportunities for young people to have those same experiences. For this he was awarded “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Arts Council for Monterey County and recognized by the California State Senate for his contribution to the arts.

Reg is a member of ASCAP.

American mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer has established herself not only as an international singer but also as a writer, teacher and arts advocate. She has enjoyed a significant opera, concert, chamber music and recital career of over thirty-five years appearing on four continents at nearly every great opera house and orchestra, and at the Metropolitan Opera since 1989. She has collaborated with a “who’s who” of conductors, string quartets and orchestras .

Her extensive discography includes over 25 commercial recordings. She produced a recording Letter to the World of songs by American opera composer Carlisle Floyd. Her solo recordings include:The Eternal Feminine, a recital of music by women composers (Koch International Classics) including the premiere of Libby Larsen’s Love After 1950 with her long-time pianist, Craig Rutenberg; Wayfaring Stranger with Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin. Libby Larsen and Friends she premieres a cycle about 9/11/01 Sifting Through the Ruins. She received a Grammy nomination for her work as Colombina in Busoni’s Arlecchino. Other releases include Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Plump Jack by Gordon Getty. Susanne appears on DVDs of productions from La Scala, Opéra de Paris, and Grammy nominated The First Emperor by Tan Dun (Metropolitan Opera), and Ariadne auf Naxos (Metropolitan Opera). She has appeared numerous times on PBS as part of the Live from Lincoln Center and “Live from the Met” programs and the Met Cinema broadcast. Other new works include Living the Divine – a cantata for children’s choir, percussion and voice, and The Journey– 5 songs for strings and voice, both by Daniel Brewbaker; Stephen Bachicha ’s New Mexico Fragments, a work she commissioned. She also performed Bernard Rand’s Now and Again with 8th blackbird and sang the American premiere of Stabat Mater by Italian composer Matteo d’Amico. Susanne has contributed to the Huffington Post. Her outspokenness about vocal health earned her the VERA Award 2013 (Voice Education Research Awareness) from The Voice Foundation. Past awardees include Julie Andrews and Diane Rehm. Last but not least, Susanne is a mentor to young singers.She maintains a private studio, teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (her 20th year teaching at the university level) and adjudicates competitions, serves on the Board of Directors of The Sullivan Foundation and The George London Foundation which support promising young singers. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Maryland and Santa Fe, NM where she fell in love with opera while working as an usher at Santa Fe Opera, Susanne received her Bachelor and Master degrees from The Juilliard School and was trained in the Houston Opera Studio, studying with Rose Bampton and Norma Newton, respectively. She received the esteemed Alexian Brothers USA Thelan Award for her help raising over one-million dollars through gala concerts for the AIDS cause in Chicago and continues to participate in charitable events.

BUDGET (estimated)Expenses: composer fees 16000 Pianist fee 1000 String quartet fee 4500 Other instrumental fee 500 additional singer 500 misc. (asst., printing) 500 ______________________________Subtotal 23,500
**************************************Funding SFCM Faculty development fund 1000 Fractured Atlas public donations 7500. Other individual donations 10,125. Mentzer individual commitment : Balance due will be paid by SM