Susan Derry debuted on Broadway in the Tony-winning revival of Wonderful Town and played the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera in Hamburg, Germany (auf Deutsch, naturlich). Her theatrical career highlights include Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County; Marian in The Music Man; Kate/Lilli in Kiss Me Kate; Desdemona in Othello; Eliza in My Fair Lady; Fiona in Brigadoon; Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest and many other roles in between. Other favorites: Helen in Saturday Night; Agnes in I Do! I Do!; Celeste #1 in Sunday in the Park with George; Betty in White Christmas. She has an extensive background in opera as well.
New works are a passion for Susan - she is the centerpiece of the Bold New Works series in Virginia, an initiative to create five world-premiere musicals; her work in the first piece, a new version of The Turn of the Screw, was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Since then, she has earned accolades as Mary Shelley in Monsters of the Villa Diodati; as a daughter struggling with her mother’s decline from Alzheimers in Kaleidoscope and as a hard-edged single mother in Witch, based on the #MeToo movement. The final work in the series, On Air, premieres this May. Susan has performed the works of such varied composers as Richard Evans, Larry O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, David Gilbert and Josh Rosenblum, among others, and she co-founded DC’s contemporary opera company UrbanArias in 2009.
Susan headlined as a guest soloist at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops and appeared in the Encores! Series at New York City Center eleven times. She has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall’s Community Sings series, the Lawton Symphony, the Palm Beach Orchestra, in Kennedy Center galas, Sondheim Award galas, and with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Leonard Bernstein's Mass conducted by Marin Alsop.
Her cabaret work includes two one-woman evenings: “It’s Got To Be Love,” about finding happiness among the high notes, and “Days and Dazed,” a look at how anything can happen in the busy middle of your life. She is currently recording "Singing," a song cycle by Gerald Ginsburg, an underusing NYC composer, based on the poetry of Langston Hughes.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She has served as an adjunct professor of voice at both American University and George Washington University and has a thriving private studio in Brooklyn where she lives with her husband and her #citydog Marlowe.