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: Works Old and New Show THEA MUSGRAVE Still the Life of the PartyBWW Review: Works Old and New Show THEA MUSGRAVE Still the Life of the Party
Posted: May. 29, 2018


BWW Review: DINNER Now Being Served at NYU's Opera Lab and American Opera ProjectsDINNER Now Being Served at NYU's Opera Lab and American Opera Projects
Posted: Jun. 2, 2018


BWW Interview: Thea Musgrave at 90, Queen of SCOTS and Composer for all SeasonsThea Musgrave at 90, Queen of SCOTS and Composer for all Seasons
Posted: May. 22, 2018


BWW Preview: Summertime and the Music is Easy, in the NortheastPreview: Summertime and the Music is Easy, in the Northeast
Posted: Jun. 11, 2018


Mixing Military Racism and a Mother's Love, AN AMERICAN SOLDIER Opens at Opera Theatre of St. LouisMixing Military Racism and a Mother's Love, AN AMERICAN SOLDIER Opens at Opera Theatre of St. Louis
Posted: May. 31, 2018


BWW Review: Same Time, Next BROKEBACK, Premiering at City OperaBWW Review: Same Time, Next BROKEBACK, Premiering at City Opera
Posted: Jun. 1, 2018


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 Roundup: It's Almost 'In with the New' But Not Before Some Last 'Hurrahs!' for Opera's 2017BWW Roundup: Some Last 'Hurrahs!' for Opera's 2017
Posted: Dec. 27, 2017


BWW Reviews: It's MILLER Time at the Met, with Yoncheva, Domingo and BeczalaBWW Reviews: It's MILLER Time at the Met, with Yoncheva, Domingo and Beczala
Posted: Mar. 31, 2018


BWW Review: A Tantalizing Taste of Kaufmann's TRISTAN, Nylund's ISOLDE with Boston Symphony under Nelsons at CarnegieReview: A Tantalizing Taste of Kaufmann's TRISTAN, Nylund's ISOLDE with Boston Symphony at Carnegie
Posted: Apr. 13, 2018


BWW Review: THREE WAY Makes Sex Last Too Long at BAMBWW Review: THREE WAY Makes Sex Last Too Long at BAM
Posted: Jun. 19, 2017


BWW Review: It May Not Be Celestial but AIDA Reigns in Brooklyn at Feisty Regina OperaBWW Review: AIDA Reigns at Brooklyn's Feisty Regina Opera
Posted: May. 16, 2018


BWW Preview: All Things Considered, I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia, at the O17 Opera FestivalPreview: All Things Considered, I?d Rather Be at Opera Fest
Posted: Aug. 21, 2017


BWW Preview: Summertime and the Music is Easy, in the NortheastBWW Preview: Summertime and the Music is Easy, in the Northeast
June 11, 2018

If you can't get enough of operas, symphonic concerts and a few musical theatre pieces thrown in for good measure, have I got a summer for you! Start in New York City and head north--almost around the corner, or a weekend (or more) away--and you'll find more than enough to keep you happy during the sultry weather ahead. (Even if it doesn't turn out quite so sultry) It covers the gamut from Handel to Puccini, from serial podcasts to light opera, from dramma serio to musical comedy, with an added emphasis on Leonard Bernstein as the music world celebrates his 100th birthday.

BWW Review: DINNER Now Being Served at NYU's Opera Lab and American Opera ProjectsBWW Review: DINNER Now Being Served at NYU's Opera Lab and American Opera Projects
June 2, 2018

What's left to say about Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party--that milestone of 20th century feminist art now on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum--that hasn't already been said? Actually, quite a bit, according to the students from the Opera Lab of NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (GMTWP), who have taken a handful of the pieces and used them--and the work as a whole--as inspiration for a series of short operas, under the guidance of the Lab's co-directors, Randall Eng and Sam Helfrich.

BWW Review: Same Time, Next BROKEBACK, Premiering at City OperaBWW Review: Same Time, Next BROKEBACK, Premiering at City Opera
June 1, 2018

At the opening of New York City Opera's US premiere production of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, with a libretto by Annie Proulx based on her short story, it was the score by Charles Wuorinen that knocked me out, with its intricacies, aural moodiness and exciting orchestration. Yet, there was hardly a moment that I felt I was listening to an opera.

Mixing Military Racism and a Mother's Love, AN AMERICAN SOLDIER Opens at Opera Theatre of St. LouisMixing Military Racism and a Mother's Love, AN AMERICAN SOLDIER Opens at Opera Theatre of St. Louis
May 31, 2018

AN AMERICAN SOLDIER--music by Huang Ruo and libretto by David Henry Hwang, directed by Matthew Ozawa--opened at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) on June 3. The opera asks the powerful question: What does it mean to be an American? It is based on the true story of a young Chinese American, who enlisted in the Army during the war in Afghanistan and became victim of military hazing that led to his suicide. The artists spoke about the creation of the piece at the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series.

BWW Review: Works Old and New Show THEA MUSGRAVE Still the Life of the PartyBWW Review: Works Old and New Show THEA MUSGRAVE Still the Life of the Party
May 29, 2018

Now into her 10th decade, the venerable composer Thea Musgrave is still full-steam ahead. The Scotch-born musician celebrated her 90th birthday last night (May 27) at a New York concert with world premieres, US premieres and NY premieres.

BWW Interview: Thea Musgrave at 90, Queen of SCOTS and Composer for all SeasonsBWW Interview: Thea Musgrave at 90, Queen of SCOTS and Composer for all Seasons
May 22, 2018

Composer Thea Musgrave is celebrating these days. It's not just that she's marking her 90th birthday on May 27 with a concert in New York, but that the concert is showcasing a gaggle of world premieres, US premieres and NY premieres (along with more familiar works), which highlight her rich musical vocabulary and keen sense of drama.

BWW Review: It May Not Be Celestial but AIDA Reigns in Brooklyn at Feisty Regina OperaBWW Review: It May Not Be Celestial but AIDA Reigns in Brooklyn at Feisty Regina Opera
May 16, 2018

While New York waits for Netrebko's house debut as Aida to the Met next year, we always haveBrooklyn? If you hurry, you can catch next weekend's matinees--it's a local company that knows its audience and schedules accordingly--at the feisty Regina Opera Company, which is featuring a surprisingly effective take on the work. It is one of the productions that's part of the NY Opera Fest from the NY Opera Alliance.

BWW Review: Oratorio Society Gives SANCTUARY to the Underground Railroad at Carnegie HallBWW Review: Oratorio Society Gives SANCTUARY to the Underground Railroad at Carnegie Hall
May 10, 2018

The world premiere performance of SANCTUARY ROAD (subtitled An Oratorio Based on the Writings of William Still, a Conductor for the Underground Railroad), by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, performed by the Oratorio Society of New York under Kent Tritle, burst forth from the stage of Carnegie Hall the other night, with energy, humanity and, of course, great musicality from all involved.

BWW Review: No Babying the Audience at BAMBINO, the Opera for Toddlers, at the MetBWW Review: No Babying the Audience at BAMBINO, the Opera for Toddlers, at the Met
May 7, 2018

No one in the audience was on Facebook or Twitter during Lliam Paterson's opera BAMBINO at the Met's List Hall--a rare occurrence for the company these days--on Friday May 4. In fact, no one looked at a cell phone at all during the performance. And nobody fell asleep--even though the opera was written for 6-18 month-olds and the children might have been forgiven for napping on the comfy pillows that filled the stage. (Their parents were on good behavior, too.)

BWW Review: 'Orange' is the New FIDELIO from Heartbeat Opera at NY Opera FestBWW Review: 'Orange' is the New FIDELIO from Heartbeat Opera at NY Opera Fest
May 5, 2018

Despite some great music, nobody ever said that Beethoven's FIDELIO is an easy opera to love. Yet, the reduced, revised and reconfigured 90-minute version that Heartbeat Opera premiered the other night--as part of this year's NY Opera Fest from the New York Opera Alliance--showed some fearless work that was somehow true to the original yet very current. This tale of the rescue of a political prisoner, Florestan, by his wife, Leonore, disguised as a prison guard, will always work. And the powerful use of a chorus of prisonershere, represented by projected work of actual prison choruses from around the Midwestwas a master stroke.

BWW Review: Walking the Tightrope at Met's National Council Auditions Finals ConcertBWW Review: Walking the Tightrope at Met's National Council Auditions Finals Concert
May 1, 2018

Can you imagine coming out on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera--facing an audience of about 4000 and be ready to sing without really much of a chance to warm up? That takes guts--and it's what the nine finalists in the Met's National Council Auditions Grand Final Concert did on Sunday, April 29. At stake? A grand push forward for the careers in opera that they've dreamed about. (There was also some money involved: $15,000 apiece for the winners, $5,000 each for the runs up.)

BWW Review: Going Down Under with JOHN HOLIDAY in the CryptBWW Review: Going Down Under with JOHN HOLIDAY in the Crypt
April 30, 2018

John Holiday is a countertenor for people who don't usually appreciate countertenors--or think of them as an acquired taste. Holiday is definitely not that. He has a gorgeous, expressive voice, that somehow balances sweetness and power, whether he's singing Baroque, gospel, American songbook or jazz (and lots in between).

BWW Review: At the Met, LAMMERMOOR is Filled with Crazies--and Not Just LUCIABWW Review: At the Met, LAMMERMOOR is Filled with Crazies--and Not Just LUCIA
April 30, 2018

Donizetti's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR--the story of a fragile young woman, Lucia, who's caught in a feud involving her family, the Ashtons, and the Ravenswoods--is one of the mainstays of the repertoire at major opera houses around the world, famed particularly for its mad scene. It's long been a favorite at the Met, with the current performances the third cast of the season, starring soprano Pretty Yende, tenor Michael Fabiano and baritone Quinn Kelsey.

BWW Review: A Poet's Love and the CYCLES of Lawrence Brownlee at Carnegie's Zankel HallBWW Review: A Poet's Love and the CYCLES of Lawrence Brownlee at Carnegie's Zankel Hall
April 26, 2018

On the surface, the two major works on Lawrence Brownlee's recital at Carnegie's Zankel Hall might seem not to have much in common. The first, Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love), was written around 1840; CYCLES OF MY BEING, by Tyshawn Sorey and Terrance Hayes, a couple of MacArthur geniuses, debuted in Philadelphia in February and had some subsequent changes before it arrived for its NY debut in Zankel on Tuesday, so it's safe to call it brand new.

BWW Review:  Have You Met Ms. BULLOCK? JULIA, That Is, At Carnegie's Weill Recital HallBWW Review: Have You Met Ms. BULLOCK? JULIA, That Is, At Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall
April 23, 2018

When the radiant, intellectual soprano Julia Bullock stepped on stage Carnegie Hall's intimate venue, Weill Recital Hall (just 268 seats), to wild applause, I felt like I was the only one hearing her live for the first time. Everyone else there seemed to have a personal relationship with her and her artistry. I'd somehow missed her live, in previous recitals and in the title roles of CENDRILLON and CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN at Juilliard. My loss--and a significant one.

BWW Review: Juilliard's HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE Shows How Modern French Opera BeganBWW Review: Juilliard's HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE Shows How Modern French Opera Began
April 22, 2018

The Juilliard School pulled out all the stops for Stephen Wadsworth's production of HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE (1733) by Jean-Philippe Rameau this week. Gorgeously designed by Charlie Corcoran with marvelous costumes by Sarah Cubbage, Juilliard has the resources to do it right, with professional level performers from their Historical Performance, Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and Dance departments plus the Juilliard415 early music ensemble under Stephen Stubbs.

BWW Interview: Lawrence Brownlee on CYCLES OF MY BEING, in NY Premiere at Carnegie's Zankel HallBWW Interview: Lawrence Brownlee on CYCLES OF MY BEING, in NY Premiere at Carnegie's Zankel Hall
April 19, 2018

When tenor Lawrence Brownlee--he of the sweet, cultured tones and ringing high Cs--was first asked to put a recital together by Carnegie Hall, he chose Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love), the song cycle about rapture, disillusionment and regret as the centerpiece. But in filling out the program, he turned to something very different--a work, in fact, that hadn't been written yet, reflecting his life as a black man in America: Cycles of My Being by composer Tyshawn Sorey and poet/lyricist Terrance Hayes.

BWW Review: French Creampuff CENDRILLON Finally Reaches Met with DiDonatoBWW Review: French Creampuff CENDRILLON Finally Reaches Met with DiDonato
April 18, 2018

The Met's new CENDRILLON is a Cinderella of a production, finally allowing Massenet's take on the classic tale of the girl from the cinders who finds her Prince Charming to reach the Met's stage 119 years after its premiere at the Opera-Comique in Paris.

BWW Review: City Opera's AMORE DEI TRE RE Gets the Kiss of DeathBWW Review: City Opera's AMORE DEI TRE RE Gets the Kiss of Death
April 16, 2018

Italo Montemezzi's L'AMORE DEI TRE RE, which played four performances at City Opera's Rose Theate this weekend, was greeted as a masterpiece when it premiered at La Scala in 1913 proved popular for years at the Met. Today, I'm not sure that even Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann as the lovers could keep it afloat.

BWW Review: A Tantalizing Taste of Kaufmann's TRISTAN, Nylund's ISOLDE with Boston Symphony under Nelsons at CarnegieBWW Review: A Tantalizing Taste of Kaufmann's TRISTAN, Nylund's ISOLDE with Boston Symphony under Nelsons at Carnegie
April 13, 2018

It's hard for opera singers to keep off the radar when they're dipping their feet into a new role--particularly if the role is Tristan in Wagner's great opera, or if your name is Jonas Kaufmann. Yes, the first of the Boston Symphony's string of TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Act II concerts was on their home turf last week, but Kaufmann and Nylund were not much more than vestal virgins being sacrificed at the altar of Opera at Carnegie Hall last night. It gave us much to look forward to. To say the least.



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