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


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: Spectacular RINALDO by Handel at Carnegie with Bicket and the English ConcertBWW Review: Spectacular RINALDO by Handel at Carnegie with Bicket and the English Concert
Posted: Mar. 26, 2018


BWW Interview: Lawrence Brownlee on CYCLES OF MY BEING, in NY Premiere at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, April 24BWW Interview: Lawrence Brownlee on CYCLES OF MY BEING, at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, April 24
Posted: Apr. 19, 2018


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
Posted: Apr. 16, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Interview: Kaminsky, Campbell and Reed Are AS ONE, Showing More Lives than a Cat with Opening at New Orleans OperaBWW Interview: Kaminsky, Campbell and Reed Are AS ONE, at New Orleans Opera
Posted: May. 31, 2017


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: There's 'GOLD in Them Thar Hills as NY Philharmonic and Gilbert Take on Wagner's GodsReview: There's 'GOLD as NY Philharmonic and Gilbert Take on Wagner's Gods
Posted: Jun. 5, 2017


BWW Preview: ELIZABETH CREE is a Tale from a New York Crypt Headed for Philadelphia Opera FestivalBWW Preview: ELIZABETH CREE is a Tale from a New York Crypt Headed for Philadelphia Opera Festival
Posted: Jun. 5, 2017


BWW Review: Mozart's GARDENER Is On Site Opera's SECRET WeaponBWW Review: Mozart's GARDENER Is On Site Opera's SECRET Weapon
Posted: May. 15, 2017


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 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.

BWW Review: A Capella or Not, Oxford's Cathedral Choir Shows Fine Touch of Conductor Darlington at NY's St. Thomas 5th Ave.BWW Review: A Capella or Not, Oxford's Cathedral Choir Shows Fine Touch of Conductor Darlington at NY's St. Thomas 5th Ave.
April 11, 2018

I must admit that Christ Church Cathedral Choir--performing at New York's St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue last week to kick off a final tour with retiring Music Director/conductor John Darlington--knocked my socks off with the first part of its program. The men and boys of the choir--a 500-year-old institution founded in Oxford, UK, numbering just 27 voices--not only filled every inch of St. Thomas with amazing sound, as if they were many times that number, but performed the first half the program of British choral masterpieces a capella.

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
March 31, 2018

LUISA MILLER isn't one of Verdi's greatest hits, written not long before RIGOLETTO but dramatically (and craft-wise) a quite a way off. Despite plenty of love and intrigue, Salvatore Cammarano'a libretto (based on the play of that name by Friedrich Schiller) never really takes flight, with too much exposition needed to justify the action. Still, when it's performed by a cast this goodand with the Met orchestra in fine form under Bertrand de Billy--it can be surprisingly potent. And this performance was.

BWW Review: PIGMALIONE/PIGMALION at City Opera Not Lover-ly EnoughBWW Review: PIGMALIONE/PIGMALION at City Opera Not Lover-ly Enough
March 27, 2018

There's no 'Enry 'Iggins or 'Liza Doolittle in Donizetti's IL PIGMALIONE or Rameau's PIGMALION--we'll have to wait for Lincoln Center Theatre's MY FAIR LADY revival (based on Shaw's PYGMALION) next month for that. But this pair of oddities, produced by New York City Opera last weekend at the Gerald Lynch Theatre, gave us the chance to see how the legend of the man who fell in love with a statue and brought it to life was handled by a pair of major composers--if not proving their neglect has been unwarranted.

BWW Review: Spectacular RINALDO by Handel at Carnegie with Bicket and the English ConcertBWW Review: Spectacular RINALDO by Handel at Carnegie with Bicket and the English Concert
March 26, 2018

Just about the most spectacular opera event of the season so far arrived at Carnegie Hall Sunday afternoon, with the English Concert and Harry Bicket making their annual foray into Handel territory, with a superb RINALDO.

BWW Review: With Cast Headed by O'Hara and Maltman, Guess Who Gets the Last Laugh on Mozart's COSI at the Met?BWW Review: With Cast Headed by O'Hara and Maltman, Guess Who Gets the Last Laugh on Mozart's COSI at the Met?
March 21, 2018

To answer the most burning question for many: Yes, Broadway's Kelli O'Hara can sing opera, acquitting herself nobly and well in the company of real opera singers and filling the huge Met Opera without a mike. (FYI: She did study opera herself in her early days.) She brought theatrical pizzazz and was a great partner, as the maid, Despina, for the wonderful, resonant British baritone Christopher Maltman (Don Alfonso) as the co-conspirators of the piece, in director Phelim McDermott's manic production.

BWW Interview: Baritones Are Like That, Says Christopher Maltman of the Met's COSI FAN TUTTEBWW Interview: Baritones Are Like That, Says Christopher Maltman of the Met's COSI FAN TUTTE
March 15, 2018

'My goal at the moment is to sound like a dead Italian,' says British baritone Christopher Maltman, who stars as Don Alfonso with Broadway's Kelli O'Hara as Despina, co-conspirators against young lovers in the Met's new production of Mozart's comedy COSI FAN TUTTE. 'Or, at least, to sound like a 'live' dead Italian.'

BWW Review: Exciting Goerke and Nezet-Seguin Change Dynamic of Met's ELEKTRABWW Review: Exciting Goerke and Nezet-Seguin Change Dynamic of Met's ELEKTRA
March 7, 2018

When Christine Goerke took on the title role in the Met's revival of Richard Strauss's masterwork ELEKTRA--the final work of director Patrice Chereau--she wasn't so much competing with Nina Stemme, who sang the premiere of the production last spring, but with herself. Six months before this version first came to Lincoln Center, Goerke performed the role in concert with the Boston Symphony at Carnegie Hall and blew the roof off. She was a transfixing, sensational presence that you just couldn't keep your eyes off.

BWW Review: Verdi Reigns at JUILLIARD-MET LINDEMANN ConcertBWW Review: Verdi Reigns at JUILLIARD-MET LINDEMANN Concert
February 28, 2018

When I first heard soprano Hyesang Park and tenor Kang Wang--two of the bright young singers featured in last weekend's Juilliard and the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Program concert--they were leads in a charming production of Bellini's LA SONNAMBULA at the school. On Friday evening, they were two of the stellar performers in An Evening of Verdi--extended excerpts from four operas with the Juilliard Orchestra doing a fluid job under Maestro Evan Rogister, who was also particularly attentive to the needs of the singers.

BWW Review: La Divina ANTONACCI Takes New York (Again) for City Opera Recital at Zankel HallBWW Review: La Divina ANTONACCI Takes New York (Again) for City Opera Recital at Zankel Hall
February 22, 2018

When soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci walked on stage at Zankel Hall for her recital the other night, I thought I had wandered into an Antonioni movie, with a ravishing diva (usually played by Monica Vitti) about to perform for a rapt audience. Then she opened her mouth and sang the first of a series of songs by Debussy (texts by Verlaine) and I knew I was in the right place: heaven.

BWW Review: Meade Fearlessly Outruns Dazzlingly Difficult SEMIRAMIDE at the MetBWW Review: Meade Fearlessly Outruns Dazzlingly Difficult SEMIRAMIDE at the Met
February 21, 2018

A lot of risk, fast rotations in perfect unison, a precarious balance point. No, I'm not talking about doing a twizzle in Olympic ice-dancing--but starring in SEMIRAMIDE by Gioacchino Rossini, a man who believed there was no such thing as too many runs, roulades and high notes. Neither did soprano Angela Meade, who fearlessly stars in the Met's current run of this dazzlingly difficult piece.

BWW Review: No 'Ho-yo-to-ho' but Van Zweden Brings God-like WALKURE to NY Phil with Melton and O'NeillBWW Review: No 'Ho-yo-to-ho' but Van Zweden Brings God-like WALKURE to NY Phil with Melton and O'Neill
February 19, 2018

Wagner aplenty, Wagner galore. After starting the week off with the Met's PARSIFAL under the exciting Nezet-Seguin, I ended it with another Wagner, DIE WALKURE, in a sweeping account of Act I from the New York Philharmonic under its music director designate, Jaap van Zweden.

BWW Review: Parsing PARSIFAL at the Met, with an Impressive Cast under Nezet-SeguinBWW Review: Parsing PARSIFAL at the Met, with an Impressive Cast under Nezet-Seguin
February 15, 2018

Richard Wagner's last opera, PARSIFAL, is a tough nut to crack. With its highly religious overtones, lack of action and incredible length (it ran about 5 hours 40 minutes the other night), it's not exactly a 'light night' at the opera--even if for those of us who consider opera to be a 'light night'. Still, with the right cast and conductor, it can be transcendent. The Met's new revival came pretty close to getting us there.

BWW Review: No Heart on the Sleeve of WRITTEN ON SKIN at Opera PhiladelphiaBWW Review: No Heart on the Sleeve of WRITTEN ON SKIN at Opera Philadelphia
February 13, 2018

Opera Philadelphia's production of the George Benjamin-Martin Crimp WRITTEN ON SKIN is another feather in the cap of the company that's quickly becoming the one to watch in the world of contemporary opera.

BWW Review: NY City Opera's Moving, Lively CRUZAR and 'What is an Opera?'BWW Review: NY City Opera's Moving, Lively CRUZAR and 'What is an Opera?'
January 31, 2018

In many areas of the arts in New York, January is a quiet month. But in the opera world, the last few weeks certainly have been jumping. It has also been a fine time for asking 'What is an Opera?' For me, January started with Prototype 2018's ACQUANETTA and ended this past weekend--with many in between--with New York City Opera's 'first mariachi opera,' CRUZAR LA CARA DE LA LUNA (TO CROSS THE FACE OF THE MOON).



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