Richard Sasanow

Richard Sasanow Richard Sasanow has been BroadwayWorld.com's Opera Editor for more than five 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, Stephanie Blythe, Angela Meade, Isabel Leonard, Lawrence Brownlee, Javier Camarena and Christian Van Horn to Pulitzer Prize winning composer Kevin Puts and icon Thea Musgrave, composers Ricky Ian Gordon, Laura Kaminsky and Iain Bell, librettist Mark Campbell, Kim Reed and Nicholas Wright, director Kevin Newbury and Tony-winning designer Christine Jones.

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: The Met's MANON a Showcase for the Charms of Tucker Award-Winner Lisette OropesaReview: The Met’s MANON a Showcase for the Charms of Tucker Award-Winner Lisette Oropesa
Posted: Sep. 26, 2019


BWW Review: Double, Double, Netrebko's Got No Trouble with MACBETH's Lady, in a Take-Charge PerformanceBWW Review: Double, Double, Netrebko’s Got No Trouble with MACBETH's Lady
Posted: Oct. 11, 2019


BWW: Apples, ORANGES--Opera Philadelphia's O19 Shows Us What the Difference isBWW: Apples, ORANGES--Opera Philadelphia's O19 Shows Us What the Difference is
Posted: Sep. 29, 2019


BWW Review: Forget Brooklyn. Opera Philadelphia World Premieres Show Only the Dead Know PhiladelphiaBWW Review: Forget Brooklyn. Opera Philadelphia World Premieres Show Only the Dead Know Philadelphia
Posted: Sep. 24, 2019


BWW Interview: Getting a Kick from Keckler at Opera Philadelphia's O19 Festival, September 20-28BWW Interview: Getting a Kick from Keckler at Opera Philadelphia's Festival, Sept. 20-28
Posted: Sep. 18, 2019


LAST 365 DAYS

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 NewsBreak: Five Minutes in Heaven with Superstar ANNA NETREBKO, the Met's Next SalomeBWW NewsBreak: Five Minutes in Heaven with Superstar ANNA NETREBKO, the Met's Next Salome
Posted: Oct. 30, 2018


BWW Review: A PRISM of PROTOTYPE's INFINITE PSYCHOSIS for 2019BWW Review: A PRISM of PROTOTYPE's INFINITE PSYCHOSIS for 2019
Posted: Jan. 9, 2019


BWW Review: [Opera] Star Trek - The Next Generation from the Met National Council Finals ConcertBWW Review: [Opera] Star Trek - The Next Generation from Met National Council Finals Concert
Posted: Apr. 2, 2019


BWW Review: Double, Double, Netrebko's Got No Trouble with MACBETH's Lady, in a Take-Charge Performance
October 11, 2019

Five years ago, Anna Netrebko unveiled her take on Verdi's Lady Macbeth at the Met and wowed audiences from here to eternity. But since the first week of the Met season, she's brought her sexy, ebullient and take-no-prisoners Lady Macbeth back and showed that she's even better than ever--singing the pant (and the spots) off the role.

BWW: Apples, ORANGES--Opera Philadelphia's O19 Shows Us What the Difference is
September 29, 2019

If you can imagine Rossini's IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with all its comedy but without any of its great arias, you can begin to imagine why Sergei Prokofiev's LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES isn't only anyone's top-ten list of favorite operas. Yet Alessandro Talevi's wild-eyed production at Opera Philadelphia's O19 Festival somehow manages to make the audience laugh itself silly and tap its foot with glee at the famous march that was such a big hit in the composer's time, that he grew sick of it.

BWW Review: The Met's MANON a Showcase for the Charms of Tucker Award-Winner Lisette Oropesa
September 26, 2019

Lisette Oropesa, where have you been all my life? Of course, I've heard her before--she's appeared 100 times or so at the Met so one could hardly miss her--but never in a showpiece like the title role of Jules Massenet's MANON, opposite tenor Michael Fabiano's Chevalier des Grieux on the second night of the Met's new season.

BWW Review: Forget Brooklyn. Opera Philadelphia World Premieres Show Only the Dead Know Philadelphia
September 24, 2019

Thomas Wolfe--famed for his novels including “Look Homeward, Angel”--is also remembered for the quotable title of one of his short stories: “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn.” Judging my weekend at Opera Philadelphia's O19 opera festival, and its two world premieres, DENIS & KATYA and LET ME DIE, he could have also written “Only the Dead Know Philadelphia” (though it might have missed the priceless Brooklyn accents used in the story by this southern writer).

BWW Interview: Getting a Kick from Keckler at Opera Philadelphia's O19 Festival, September 20-28
September 18, 2019

Last January, Joseph Keckler seemed to burst forth, fully blown, like Athena from the head of Zeus, at New York's Prototype Festival (though his emergence was, in fact, no such thing, having already been a staple of the Downtown scene for several years). This month, Philadelphia's got him, at the Opera Philadelphia O19, running from September 20-28, with LET ME DIE. It's a genre-bending performance piece for the baritone, whose voice ascends to tenorial heights, that peppers famous operatic death scenes (with some singing collaborators) with video from Lianne Arnold, his own music and signature comedic je ne sais quoi.

BWW Review: Am I BLUE at Glimmerglass? You Bet. But There Are Also Some Guilty GHOSTS, and, Oh that Notorious RBG!
August 2, 2019

A summer's trip to Cooperstown, NY, is for two distinct audiences: Those who come for the Baseball Hall of Fame and those, like me, who come for the opera--the Glimmerglass Festival, under General Director Francesca Zambello, where i caught up with the John Corigliano-William Hoffman THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES, the brand-new BLUE by Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson and a program with Supreme Court Justice (and opera buff) Ginsburg commenting on some of her favorite works.

BWW Interview: No Clowning Around for Bass-Baritone Davone Tines in Mostly Mozart's THE BLACK CLOWN
July 23, 2019

The first time I heard bass-baritone Davone Tinesa?"he of the sensual, resonant voice and startlingly vivid stage presencea?"it was in Handel's ACI, GALATEA E POLIFEMO (described as a?oea spectacular, streamlined, Cliff-Notes version of a Handel operaa??), at Brooklyn's National Sawdust. Tines wowed me and I thought that I wanted to hear more of him. He opens July 24, 2019 at Mostly Mozart in THE BLACK CLOWN at the Gerald Lynch Theatre of John Jay College, near Lincoln Center.

BWW Review: Mostly Mozart's MAGIC FLUTE versus Teatro Nuovo's STRANIERA, Ingenuity Outdoes Purism
July 22, 2019

This week's opera performances--Teatro Nuova's LA STRANIERA by Bellini and Mostly Mozart's MAGIC FLUTE--proved that opera can be considered alive and well (and living in New York), as long as those producing it believe in it and give us some voices worth hearing.

BWW Review: Gordon-Artman ACQUANETTA is No Grade-B Horror at Bard, Directed by Tony-winner Fish
July 15, 2019

ACQUANETTA, which just opened at Bard's SummerScape, was the piece that opened 2018's edition of PROTOTYPE festival in New York. Musically and dramatically, written by Michael Gordon, composer (of 'Bang on a Can' fame), Deborah Artman, librettist (ditto), the piece is very much in a class of its own.

BWW Preview: Summertime and the Singing is Easy at Opera and Vocal Festivals in the Northeast
June 28, 2019

Something old, something new…there's still plenty going on for fans of opera and classical vocal music in the Northeast now that summer is upon us. Here's a taste of what to look for.

BWW Review: No Stonewalling the Message of the Bell-Campbell STONEWALL at City Opera Premiere
June 25, 2019

If there's nothing colder than yesterday's news, the Stonewall riots--that cornerstone of the gay rights movement, 50-years-old this month--should be the equivalent of a frozen Margarita. Instead, it's hot as New York in August, in Leonard Foglia's nonstop production of STONEWALL, the opera by Iain Bell and Mark Campbell that had its world premiere production by New York City Opera at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose Theatre, last Friday.

BWW Review: Reshaping Beethoven's FIDELIO into Lang's PRISONER OF THE STATE at the Philharmonic
June 12, 2019

The New York Philharmonic finished up its season with a powerful performance of a new version of the FIDELIO story by composer David Lang, which he neatly titled PRISONER OF THE STATE, summing up a key part of the story. Lang's score and the staging by Elkhanah Pulitzer—and the pulsating performance of the score by the Philharmonic under music director Jaap van Zweden--were triumphs, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats as the 70-minute work unfolded.

BWW Review: Forget 'Games of Thrones,' DiDonato's Got a Grip on AGRIPPINA in Barcelona, and Heading to the Met and Covent Garden
June 6, 2019

For those of us who couldn't wait to hear mezzo Joyce DiDonato in a fully staged performance of Handel's AGRIPPINA—heading to Covent Garden in September and the Met in February in different productions next season—she has given us a first-class preview at the Liceu in Barcelona. For a couple of weeks at the end of May, she tootled around major cities in Europe giving concert performances of the opera, one of Handel's first hits, from Christmas 1709 in Venice when he was finishing his sojourn in Italy.

BWW Review: Five Years and 26 Productions Later, AS ONE Makes a Splendid Return to New York at City Opera
June 3, 2019

The spectacularly musical, touchingly dramatic, surprisingly funny and profoundly moving chamber opera, AS ONE, by Laura Kaminsky, Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell, made its long-overdue return to New York on Thursday, in a production by Matt Gray as part of New York City Opera's spring season.

BWW Interview: Kim Reed Is Inspiration and Co-librettist of AS ONE at City Opera
May 28, 2019

“It's been quite a ride,” says Kim Reed, co-librettist, filmmaker—and inspiration--for AS ONE, the chamber opera by Laura Kaminsky, with co-librettist Mark Campbell. The work's 27th production, in under five years, opened on May 30 under the auspices of New York City Opera, American Opera Projects (its original commissioner) and Kaufman Music Center at Merkin Hall on West 67 Street in Manhattan.

BWW Review: Who Will Survive Barcelona's PECHEURS DE PERLES at the Liceu?
May 28, 2019

George Bizet--best known, of course, for CARMEN--wrote another opera that has become increasingly (and justifiably) popular in recent years, LES PECHEURS DE PERLES, better known in the English-speaking world as THE PEARL FISHERS. George Bizet--best known, of course, for CARMEN--wrote another opera that has become increasingly (and justifiably) popular in recent years, LES PECHEURS DE PERLES, better known in the English-speaking world as THE PEARL FISHERS. The new production--which came from the Theatre an der Wien in Vienna--at Barcelona's beautiful Liceu opera house is by Lotte de Beer, a Dutch director who's known for taking outrageous approaches to standard rep.

BWW Review: Diana Damrau Plays the Palace with de Maistre's Elegant Harp in Barcelona
May 25, 2019

For me, concert-going in Barcelona is not simply hearing a singer like Diana Damrau bring beauty and insights to the music of great composers, but where you get to hear her perform this magic. This week's evening of lieder and other art songs, for instance, performed with harpist Xavier de Maistre, was held in a palace--at the Palau de la Musica Catalana to be precise.

BWW Review: Leonard Is CARMELITES' Soft Center in Met's Brilliant Production
May 5, 2019

You'd never know that the Met's production of Francis Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES is over 40 years old, except for a few giveaways. There are no dancing nuns, no nudity, no screeching train whistle as the women go to their deaths (a la SWEENEY TODD). This fictionalized version of the story of Carmelite nuns who were martyred during the French Revolution, sent to the guillotine, is certainly the most simple and eloquent work on the Met's stage these days.

BWW Review: LADY IN THE DARK a Walk on the Weill Side with MasterVoices and Victoria Clark at City Center
May 3, 2019

The line between Broadway-type musical theatre and opera becomes finer by the year--though I dare say that TOOTSIE is unlikely to be showing up at the Met any time soon. But the Kurt Weill-Ira Gershwin-Moss Hart LADY IN THE DARK might have morphed in a slightly different, better piece of music theatre if it arrived in the 21st century rather than World War II.

BWW Insight: Mezzo Joyce DiDonato Plays Fairy Godmother at Carnegie Hall Master Classes
April 21, 2019

Mezzo Joyce DiDonato knows quite a bit about being Cinderella--after all, she's played the title characters in Rossini's CENERENTOLA and Massenet's CENDRILLON at the Met and other major opera houses. But it also appears she's a first-rate “fairy godmother,” as she proved with a group of emerging artists in a series of Master Classes in Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Room of the Resnick Education Wing last week.



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