Richard Sasanow

Richard Sasanow Richard Sasanow has been BroadwayWorld.com's Opera Editor for more than four years, with interests covering contemporary works, standard repertoire and true rarities from every era. He is an interviewer of important musical figures on the current scene--from singers Diana Damrau, Peter Mattei and Angela Meade to Pulitzer Prize winning composer Kevin Puts, librettist Mark Campbell and director Kevin Newbury.

Earlier in his career, he interviewed such great singers as Birgit Nilsson and Martina Arroyo and worked on the first US tour of the Vienna State Opera, with Karl Bohm, Zubin Mehta and Leonard Bernstein, and the inaugural US tour of the Orchestre National de France, with Bernstein and Lorin Maazel.

Sasanow is also a long-time writer on art, music, food, travel and international business for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, Town & Country and Travel & Leisure, among many others.



MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Laugh a Little, Cry a Little for Met's Well-Sung RIGOLETTOBWW Review: Laugh a Little, Cry a Little for Met's Well-Sung RIGOLETTO
Posted: Feb. 18, 2019


BWW Review: Carsen's Stellar FALSTAFF with Ambrogio Maestri and Game Cast Returns to the MetBWW Review: Carsen's Stellar FALSTAFF with Game Cast Returns to the Met
Posted: Feb. 28, 2019


BWW Review: Finding GOLD as the Met's Ring Cycle Begins AnewBWW Review: Finding GOLD as the Met's Ring Cycle Begins Anew
Posted: Mar. 11, 2019


BWW Review: How Did the Queen of Carthage Die? Juilliard's Version of Purcell's DIDO Isn't TellingBWW Review: How Did the Queen of Carthage Die? Juilliard's Version of DIDO Isn't Telling
Posted: Feb. 24, 2019


Andre Previn - of Opera and Classical Music, as well as Hollywood, Broadway and Television - Dies at 89Andre Previn Dies at 89
Posted: Mar. 1, 2019


BWW Review: Live from the Crypt, It's Baritone Lucas MeachemBWW Review: Live from the Crypt, It's Baritone Lucas Meachem
Posted: Mar. 9, 2019


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: French Creampuff CENDRILLON Finally Reaches Met with DiDonatoBWW Review: French Creampuff CENDRILLON Finally Reaches Met with DiDonato
Posted: Apr. 18, 2018


BWW Review: Kaufmann Returns to the Met with a 'Heigh-ho Silver' in Puccini's FANCIULLA DEL WESTReview: Kaufmann Returns to the Met in Puccini FANCIULLA DEL WEST
Posted: Oct. 19, 2018


BWW Interview: MEFISTOFELE is a Devil of a Hat-Trick for the Met's Rising Star Christian Van HornBWW Interview: MEFISTOFELE is a Devil of a Hat-Trick for the Met's Christian Van Horn
Posted: Nov. 19, 2018


BWW Overview: A Look-Back at Opera's Many-Colored Dream Coat of Performance Highs in 2018BWW Overview: Opera's Many-Colored Dream Coat of Performance Highs in 2018
Posted: Dec. 27, 2018


BWW Review: Fireworks from Met's New ADRIANA LECOUVREUR with Netrebko for New Year's EveFireworks from Met's New ADRIANA LECOUVREUR with Netrebko for New Year's Eve
Posted: Jan. 2, 2019


BWW Speaking Out: Creating a New American Operatic CanonSpeaking Out: Creating a New American Operatic Canon
Posted: Jun. 20, 2018


BWW Insight: Opera and Music as More than Simply a Night Out? BLUE and THE JUST Say Yes
March 20, 2019

Can opera be a medium for social commentary and change? I've been thinking about this lately--or, more accurately, yet again--since attending a preview of the new Jeanne Tesori-Tazewell Thompson opera, BLUE, which was part of the Guggenheim Museum's fascinating Works & Process series. The performance of excerpts and roundtable with its creators were part of preparations for the work's world premiere this summer at the Glimmerglass Festival.

BWW Review: Finding GOLD as the Met's Ring Cycle Begins Anew
March 11, 2019

If Robert Lepage's production of Wagner's Ring Cycle (formally, DER RING DAS NIBELUNGEN) had worked as smoothly when it opened in 2010 as it did at this season's marvelous premiere of its prologue, DAS RHEINGOLD, on Saturday afternoon, there probably still would have been complaints--not about its focus on technology but on its traditional approach. Personally, i liked it.

BWW Review: Live from the Crypt, It's Baritone Lucas Meachem
March 9, 2019

The Crypt Sessions, which take place in the stone chamber beneath the Church of the Intercession on West 155th Street in Manhattan, might conjure up visions of horror, though it bears no relation to HBO's long-running anthology, Tales from the Crypt. Add that the center of attraction for the recital of the powerfully expressive baritone, Lucas Meachem, was Mahler's KINDERTOTENLIEDER, which translates to the grisly sounding (but actually elegant) Songs on the Death of Children, and one might be forgiven for thinking so. The result, in fact, was about as far from that as possible.

BWW Review: Carsen's Stellar FALSTAFF with Ambrogio Maestri and Game Cast Returns to the Met
February 28, 2019

Will anyone else but Ambrogio Maestri bring the same dynamism to Robert Carsen's 1950's take on Verdi's masterpiece, FALSTAFF? Time will tell. But the return of the wonderful production, with the great Met orchestra under conductor Richard Farnes and an all-around terrific cast, brought a little sunshine into the gray winter in New York.

Andre Previn - of Opera and Classical Music, as well as Hollywood, Broadway and Television - Dies at 89
March 1, 2019

Composer, conductor and pianist Andre Previn has died at the age of 89 on February 28. Previn was composer of the opera versions of Tennessee Williams's A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and Noel Coward's BRIEF ENCOUNTER, dozens of orchestral works, film scores, jazz works and the score for Tom Stoppard's 1977 play, EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR. He was also music director of the Houston Symphony, LA Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as the London Symphony Orchestra.

BWW Review: How Did the Queen of Carthage Die? Juilliard's Version of Purcell's DIDO Isn't Telling
February 24, 2019

Purcell's DIDO AND AENEAS, written in about 1689 with a libretto by Nahum Tate, doesn't exist in a final version approved by the composer but, well, never mind. In the care of the more-than-budding artists of the Juilliard415 historical music ensemble and singers from Juilliard's Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts, all was well.

BWW Review: Laugh a Little, Cry a Little for Met's Well-Sung RIGOLETTO
February 18, 2019

No matter what one thinks of the Met's transfiguration of Verdi's RIGOLETTO from Francesco Maria Piave's Mantua to '60s Las Vegas--I personally like much of this Rat Pack production from director Michael Mayer--the singing at Saturday's performance [the second of the season] was first rate.

BWW Review: The Kitchen Finds Room for IMPROVEMENT with Robert Ashley's Modern Classic
February 15, 2019

You may have your own idea about what opera means and is, but I'd bet it's a world away from what composer Robert Ashley--whose 1985 work, IMPROVEMENT (DON LEAVES LINDA), has been running this week at the Kitchen in west Chelsea--had in mind.

BWW Review: A Yummy FILLE DU REGIMENT Thanks to Yende and Camarena (and Don't Forget Donizetti)
February 13, 2019

I've already cheered tenor Javier Camarena's Herculean take on Ah, mes amis! in the Met's current FILLE DU REGIMENT--with 1 dozen high Cs, including an encore--but there's more than the tenor in Met's current revival of the Donizetti gem to make the season suddenly seem grand. He and soprano Pretty Yende have made a potent comic once before--in Rossini's BARBIERE--but FILLE is something altogether different.

BWW Showstopper: Getting the Jobs Done - Bates-Campbell (R)EVOLUTION OF STEVE JOBS Wins Grammy for Best Opera Recording
February 11, 2019

The Mason Bates-Mark Campbell opera, THE (R)EVOLUTION OF STEVE JOBS--which debuted at the Santa Fe Opera in summer 2017--walked off with this year's Best Opera Recording at the Grammys on Sunday night. Michael Christie conducted the Santa Fe Opera orchestra, and the cast. Directed by Kevin Newbury, included Sasha Cooke, Jessica E. Jones, Edward Parks, Garrett Sorenson & Wei Wu. It was produced by Elizabeth Ostrow.

BWW Showstopper: Audience Insists 'Encore! Encore!' and Camarena Does It Again in FILLE DU REGIMENT at the Met
February 8, 2019

Tenor Javier Camarena set a record last night with his encore of Ah, mes amis! as Tonio in the season's first performance of Donizetti's LA FILLE DU REGIMENT. It was the first time that anyone was called out for an encore in three different operasin his case Rossini's LA CENERENTOLA, Donizetti's DON PASQUALE and this one. That's more than Luciano Pavarotti or Juan Diego Florezthe only others to be brought out for a bis of an aria in the last 50 years.

BWW Review: Countertenor JAKUB JOZEF ORLINSKI Goes for Baroque at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall Debut
February 4, 2019

It wasn't so long ago that countertenors were still considered an oddity; today, you can't turn around without tripping over one, or more. Last year, for instance, when the English Concert did Handel's RINALDO at Carnegie Hall there were, indeed, three countertenors. One of them was the young Polish singer--he's 28--Jakub Jozef Orlinski, who just made his New York debut at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall to what I can only describe as a rapturous reception. I totally agreed.

BWW Review: Debuts Galore at Met's First DON GIOVANNI of the Season, But Willis-Sorensen's Anna Steals the Show
February 3, 2019

According to a quote attributed to Andy Warhol, if you want to tell a good painting from a bad one, first look at a thousand paintings; then you'll realize that there are no hard and fast rules. When it comes to performing arts and traditional repertoire, the standards are a little different. Directors, designers and cast are expected to add their two cents to work of the creators, to show their smarts and insights (or at least come up with something they think will be more meaningful to modern/younger audiences). Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte were victims of this maneuvering in the season premiere of the Met's DON GIOVANNI.

BWW Review: A PRISM of PROTOTYPE's INFINITE PSYCHOSIS for 2019
January 9, 2019

Where are our Violettas, our Salomes, our Elektras--even our Lulus--for opera to move forward as an art form for the 21 century? They're all victims of stress and suffering of one sort or another, but still worth meeting up with--not only musically but dramatically--more than once. I began thinking about this while watching the three music-theatre/new opera pieces that I visited during the opening days of the current edition of PROTOTYPE:OPERA/THEATRE/NOW--The Infinite Hotel, 4.48 Psychosis and PRISM.

BWW Preview: Ready or Not, Here Comes NY's PROTOTYPE 2019, January 5-13
January 4, 2019

New York's PROTOTYPE OperaTheatreNow Festival returns for its seventh season from January 5 to the 13th and the one thing that you can't ask about it is What's new? That's not because there's nothing to answer. On the contrary--there's too much, in style, in content, in the sizes of its venues: This year's Festival is larger than ever, with a dozen works, 24 composerlibrettists and over 150 collaborators.

BWW Review: Fireworks from Met's New ADRIANA LECOUVREUR with Netrebko for New Year's Eve
January 2, 2019

On New Year's Eve, the Metropolitan Opera unveiled a new production of Cilea's ADRIANA LECOUVREUR, with a high-powered, audience-pleasing cast--headed by Anna Netrebko--in a production by Met favorite David McVicar, appealingly designed and costumed, and played elegantly by the Met orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda's sweeping baton.

BWW Overview: A Look-Back at Opera's Many-Colored Dream Coat of Performance Highs in 2018
December 27, 2018

Well, it's that time of the year again--time for a look-back on what was worth making note of during the calendar year that's about to come to an end. It's from a totally personal, subjective point of view, of course, but frankly that's the way opera-lovers always seem to like it, n'est-ce pas? The productions worth noting come from places big, small and in-between, from composers old as the hills to freshly minted or somewhere in between (likewise the performers), from traditional or boldly modern to simply stand up and sing.

BWW Review: Dudamel's Baptism by Fire Turns in a Solid, Throbbing OTELLO at the Met
December 17, 2018

Talk about baptism by fire! That's what Gustavo Dudamel--that wunderkind of the classical conducting world--faced as he reached the podium of the Met for the first time Friday night. Not only was he conducting Verdi's great opera, OTELLO, but he was doing so with a last-minute substitute in the title role. The result: All went well with the Met's production of the masterwork.

BWW Review: It's All GREEK for Me, from Scottish Opera at BAM's Next Wave Festival
December 13, 2018

I hope somebody from New York City Opera was at BAM last weekend, because Mark-Anthony Turnage's GREEK--a modern retelling of the Oedipus myth from Scottish Opera/Opera Ventures, presented by BAM's Next Wave Festival--is just what the doctor ordered for that company. A great story, a small cast, a score that maybe won't leave you humming but moves like gangbusters, a simple production that doesn't look cheesy (except maybe in a mozzarella-ish way). And, oh yes, a happy audience for a work that deserves greater reach on these shores.

BWW Review: Live from New York, It's On Site Opera's AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS
December 9, 2018

The touching, moving, brilliantly site-specific version of Gian Carlo Menotti's AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS, performed this week by New York's vibrant On Site Opera (OSO), had the audience at the Church of the Holy Apostles Church alternately in tears and cheering.



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