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

BWW Review: Damrau's a Top Violetta with the Met's New Maestro Nezet-Seguin in LA TRAVIATA from Mayer
December 6, 2018

I interviewed Diana Damrau when she had just done her first Violetta, her role debut in the Met's old Willy Decker production. It was a part she lusted over from the time she saw the 1982 Zeffirelli film, but was careful about taking on--waiting for the right time in her vocal development. That was nearly six years ago and the good news is that she has developed into a first-rate Violetta, sounding better than she has in some time, and looking every inch the glamorous (yet consumptive) courtesan.

BWW Interview: Tenor Javier Camarena - High Cs and 'High Fives' at the Met
December 5, 2018

Tenor Javier Camarena--who completes his run as Nadir, the love-struck tenor lead in Bizet's LES PECHEURS DE PERLES (THE PEARL FISHERS) this Saturday--isn't finished wow-ing Met audiences for the season. Not by a long shot. He's back in February to throw off those nine High Cs in Ah, mes amis! the show-stopping aria--that toast to love and camaraderie--in Donizetti's LA FILLE DU REGIMENT (DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT) that Luciano Pavarotti made famous for modern opera audiences.

BWW Review: GLASS or HANDEL, Costanzo Can Handle Whatever's Thrown at Him
November 29, 2018

No one can accuse countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo of sitting around and waiting for projects to fall into his lap. GLASS HANDEL was first produced by the singer with Visionaire and Cath Brittan at Opera Philadelphia's (OP) O18 Operafest in September and presented in NY by OP and National Sawdust for four performances this week at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (a co-producer), GLASS HANDEL was a trip--in many senses of the word.

BWW Review: Juilliard Makes Handel's AMINTA E FILLIDE the Opera of the Year
November 26, 2018

Handel's AMINTA E FILLIDE doesn't have much of a libretto--'nymph meets swain and complications arise,' says the program, and that's about it--and there were just a handful of musicians from Juilliard's early music program on stage at the Morgan Library's tiny Gilder Lehrman Hall. for a work that lasted less than an hour. Yet Handel's opera/pastoral/cantata goes on my list as one of the most gorgeous performances of the year in New York, under guest artist-in-residence, William Christie.

BWW Review: Saariaho's SOUND, Directed by Sellars, Says Yes to Noh at White Light Festival
November 21, 2018

With a formidable cast of three, and a brilliant ensemble of voices and instrumental musicians, Kaija Saariaho's ONLY THE SOUND REMAINS swept through town last weekend, created with director Peter Sellars. Once again, she left us in awe of how she can fill an impossibly large theatre with what seems on paper to be the tiniest of works.

BWW Review: Nothing Fishy about Replacement Baritone Elliott in PECHEURS at the Met
November 19, 2018

We thought things were exciting last week, when Christian Van Horn brought his Mefistofele to the Met last week, getting all his exercise for the month in the athletic staging and nailing his first big role in the house. However, that was business as usual compared to the mid-performance debut, just a few days later, of baritone Alexander Birch Elliott, as Zurga, in Bizet's LES PECHEURS DE PERLES (THE PEARL FISHERS) in the opera's first performance of the season.

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

I caught up with rising star bass-baritone Christian Van Horn the other day, to find out what the devil was going on with his starring role in the Met's first performance of Arrigo Boito's MEFISTOFELE in almost 20 years. Were you nervous as hell (pun intended) on the first night, I asked Van Horn, winner of this year's prestigious Richard Tucker Award, in your role as the Devil?

BWW Review: Utopia Opera Takes on Thea Musgrave's STORY OF HARRIET TUBMAN
November 15, 2018

Short on financial resources but long on ambition, Utopia Opera started its eighth season last weekend with a New York premiere: Thea Musgrave's THE STORY OF HARRIET TUBMAN. It's a 90-minute chamber version, orchestrated by composer Julian Grant, of Musgrave's full-length, two-act HARRIET, THE WOMAN CALLED MOSES, which debuted in 1985 at the Virginia Opera, with some fervent portrayals by its cast of about two dozen, including the stellar soprano MaKayla McDonald as Harriet and mezzo Karmesha Peake as her mother, Rit.

BWW Review: A Devilishly Good Van Horn Steals MEFISTOFELE at the Met
November 12, 2018

The Met is offering Robert Carsen's 1999 production of Arrigo Boito's MEFISTOFELE to show us what bass-baritone Christian Van Horn--winner of this year's Richard Tucker Award--could do in his first starring role at the house and the answer was: plenty.

BWW Review: A Diverse Week at BAM's Next Wave Fest, Balancing Glass's SATYAGRAHA and a SAVAGE WINTER (REISE) without the Schubert
November 9, 2018

To say that this was an unusual week for opera-goers venturing into BAM's Next Wave Festival would be an understatementbut then the unexpected is what makes it is an indispensable component of the New York arts scene, with Philip Glass's SATYAGRAHA and Douglas J. Cuomo's SAVAGE WINTER.

BWW NewsBreak: Five Minutes in Heaven with Superstar ANNA NETREBKO, the Met's Next Salome
October 30, 2018

The traffic in midtown Manhattan was its usual horror at lunchtime last Friday--and Anna Netrebko was stuck in it. She was on the way to Cipriani 42nd Street, across from Grand Central Station, where the Metropolitan Opera Guild was celebrating the soprano at its 84th Annual Luncheon. Despite her delayed arrival, the soprano made some time to talk to me about her voice, her roles and what lies ahead--and, by the way, to be absolutely charming and laugh prodigiously in between her serious discussions about her voice and career.

BWW OperaView: OPERA America's National Opera Week Begins Oct. 26, Chaired by Bass-Baritone Ryan Speedo Green
October 26, 2018

While many people from the current generation don't know the Marx Brothers, the comic geniuses of stage, film and early television, probably even fewer are familiar with one of their masterworks, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. Filled with the sound of music, it also is brimming with laughs and general silliness. What the film does not provide, however, is to show how opera can change lives--but OPERA America's 10th annual National Opera Week, from Oct. 26-Nov. 4, is attempting to change that perception.

BWW Review: Don't Cry for MARIA, Argentina... She's Here in the Big Apple Now!
October 24, 2018

Site-specific performances are the latest thing for opera companies wanting to venture into works that wouldn't comfortably fit in a 500-, 1000- (or more) seat theatre. New York City Opera has tried this in the past, but never in a venue quite as intimate or louche as Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street, where Astor Piazzola's MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES, an operita (little opera or, perhaps, operetta), is earthily tango-ing its way into audience hearts.



...
1



Advertisement