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: 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 Review: Lang's MILE-LONG OPERA is a Voyeur's Paradise on New York's High LineBWW Review: Lang's MILE-LONG OPERA is a Voyeur's Paradise on New York's High Line
Posted: Oct. 5, 2018


BWW Review: Finally, Netrebko Gives Us a Gala Opening at the Met, with Spectacular AIDABWW Review: Finally, Netrebko Gives Us A Gala Opening at the Met, with Spectacular AIDA
Posted: Sep. 29, 2018


BWW Review: In Any Language, the London-Thoron HATUEY Brings Fire to Kasser Theatre at Montclair StateReview: In Any Language, the London-Thoron HATUEY Brings Fire to Kasser Theatre
Posted: Sep. 21, 2018


BWW Review: Met Opera Season Opens with New SAMSON ET DALILA, in Crazy, Rich Philistine StyleReview: Met Opens with New SAMSON ET DALILA, in Crazy, Rich Philistine Style
Posted: Sep. 25, 2018


BWW Review: PROVING Mazzoli's Place in the New Opera Scene at the Miller in New YorkBWW Review: PROVING Mazzoli's Place in the New Opera Scene at the Miller in New York
Posted: Oct. 1, 2018


BWW Review: 'Losing Your Mind' Three Ways in a Weekend at Opera Philadelphia's Festival O18BWW Review: 'Losing Your Mind' Three Ways at Opera Philadelphia's Festival O18
Posted: Sep. 26, 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 Speaking Out: Creating a New American Operatic CanonSpeaking Out: Creating a New American Operatic Canon
Posted: Jun. 20, 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 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: 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: 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
Posted: Apr. 30, 2018


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

Anyone who was expecting the equivalent of Bette Midler's arrival as Dolly in the Harmonia Gardens when Jonas Kaufmann finally returned to the Met, on October 17, after four years and some high-profile cancellations, must have been wildly disappointed. Oh sure, Kaufmann looked like a glamorous buckaroo and compared to some of the star tenor misfires already this season at the Met, he had a triumph.

BWW Interview: Meeting Mr. Wright (Nicholas, That Is), MARNIE's Librettist, Opening October 19 at the MetBWW Interview: Meeting Mr. Wright (Nicholas, That Is), MARNIE's Librettist, Opening October 19 at the Met
October 19, 2018

When the Met's literary advisor asked Nicholas Wright what he thought about doing the libretto for MARNIE, he said yes because he was really interested in working with composer Nico Muhly and Michael Mayer. He was somewhat reserved, however, about whether it was a good opera subject. That was understandable, of course, when he admitted, laughing, a case of mistaken identity.

BWW Review: Halloween Comes Early with Kallor's FRANKENSTEIN and Poe in Green-Wood CemeteryBWW Review: Halloween Comes Early with Kallor's FRANKENSTEIN and Poe in Green-Wood Cemetery
October 14, 2018

I grew up with many versions of the Frankenstein story--some with greater nods to Mary Shelley's novel than others--spending Saturday afternoons being scared witless and loving every minute of it. But I was changed forever by Mel Brooks' YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, making it hard to come to the story of monster and master today with fresh eyes and ears, no matter how serious the intentions. But Gregg Kallor's SKETCHES FROM FRANKENSTEIN, which played last week in the catacombs of Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, managed to do it.

BWW Review: Lang's MILE-LONG OPERA is a Voyeur's Paradise on New York's High LineBWW Review: Lang's MILE-LONG OPERA is a Voyeur's Paradise on New York's High Line
October 5, 2018

THE MILE-LONG OPERA's composer David Lang says he is trying to expand the definition of what an opera is. Well, AIDA this ain't. If you live in New York, you might know the High Line, a modern elevated walkway built over abandoned railroad tracks that stretches from the West Village to the Westside Highway at 34th Street. It is a voyeur's paradise--but the production does the voyeuristic aspects one better. It's a whale of a show.

BWW Review: PROVING Mazzoli's Place in the New Opera Scene at the Miller in New YorkBWW Review: PROVING Mazzoli's Place in the New Opera Scene at the Miller in New York
October 1, 2018

Missy Mazzoli had me with BREAKING THE WAVES, her 2016 opera written with librettist Royce Vavrek at Opera Philadelphia and PROTOTYPE 2017. With PROVING UP--same librettist and with a production also conceived by James Darrah--which had its New York debut this week at Columbia University's Miller theatre, she proved she's a force to be reckoned with.

BWW Review: Finally, Netrebko Gives Us a Gala Opening at the Met, with Spectacular AIDABWW Review: Finally, Netrebko Gives Us a Gala Opening at the Met, with Spectacular AIDA
September 29, 2018

The synopsis of Verdi's AIDA, with Ghislanzoni's smart libretto, places it in 'Egypt, during the reign of the pharaohs.' For the first performance of the opera this season, on Wednesday, they should have changed that to 'during the reign of soprano Anna Netrebko,' because she owned the stage from the moment she entered.

BWW Review: 'Losing Your Mind' Three Ways in a Weekend at Opera Philadelphia's Festival O18BWW Review: 'Losing Your Mind' Three Ways in a Weekend at Opera Philadelphia's Festival O18
September 26, 2018

Whether from disease, 19th century #MeToo-style abuse, or unrequited love, Opera Philadelphia's (OP) Festival O18 opening weekend showed us three ways that central female characters lost their grip on reality. While I considered only one of them a total success, audience openness to sometimes-demanding material made it clear that the company has found a formula that strikes at the hearts of opera-goers, new and old.

BWW Review: Met Opera Season Opens with New SAMSON ET DALILA, in Crazy, Rich Philistine StyleBWW Review: Met Opera Season Opens with New SAMSON ET DALILA, in Crazy, Rich Philistine Style
September 25, 2018

Well, no one could accuse the opening of the Met's new season, with Darko Trasnjak's production of Saint-Saens' SAMSON ET DALILA, to Ferdinand Lemaire's libretto, of being drab. Starry, certainly. Over the top, definitely. Filled with feathersabsolutely. Call it Crazy, Rich Philistines.

BWW Review: In Any Language, the London-Thoron HATUEY Brings Fire to Kasser Theatre at Montclair StateBWW Review: In Any Language, the London-Thoron HATUEY Brings Fire to Kasser Theatre at Montclair State
September 21, 2018

'A Ukrainian Jew walked into a bar in Havana....' Wait, haven't I heard this one before? Not by a longshot. HATUEY: MEMORY OF FIRE, the opera by Frank London and Elise Thoron, performed in Yiddish, English and Spanish, is a unique work that ambitiously crosses many creative lines in a work inspired by a kind of Yiddish epic poem.

BWW Interview: Lembit Beecher SWINGS at Opera Philadelphia FestivalBWW Interview: Lembit Beecher SWINGS at Opera Philadelphia Festival
September 19, 2018

I was, like many composers, not someone who was immediately in love with the human voice, the operatic voice, in new music, says Lembit Beecher, whose opinion has definitely changed. He has become a powerful new force in the medium, with his new opera, SKY ON SWINGS, written with librettist Hannah Moskovitch and directed by Joanna Settle, opening the second year of Opera Philadelphia's Festival, O18, on September 20. It stars two formidable mezzos, Frederica von Stade and Marietta Simpson.

BWW Review: Bullock's Back and the [Other] Met's Got HerBWW Review: Bullock's Back and the [Other] Met's Got Her
September 18, 2018

Soprano Julia Bullock is at the Met in New York this year--but not necessarily the one that comes to mind when you're thinking about performances by an opera singer. It's the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she kicked off her year as Artist-in-Residence (2018-2019) on Saturday night with History's Persistent Voice, the first in a series of five concerts.

BWW Preview: Same Time, This Year - I'd Still Rather Be at Opera Philadelphia's Festival O18BWW Preview: Same Time, This Year - I'd Still Rather Be at Opera Philadelphia's Festival O18
September 5, 2018

You can't accuse Opera Philadelphia's O18 Festival--running September 20-30 at various city venues--of being predictable. But no one would chastise you if you were to think: How do you follow-up what seems like a once-in-a-lifetime event, last year's O17? Well, as Monty Python used to say, 'And now for something completely different...'

BWW Review: Dell'Arte Opera Unlocks the Cypher of LA CIFRA by SalieriBWW Review: Dell'Arte Opera Unlocks the Cypher of LA CIFRA by Salieri
August 27, 2018

Before there was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, there was Antonio Salieri. Today, most people only know the latter as a character in the play AMADEUS and its Oscar-winning film version, and not as head of all things musical in Vienna for decades and a prolific composer. You've got to give points to the spunky little Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble for digging up Salieri's 1789 work LA CIFRA (THE CYPHER), an opera buffa popular in its time, and giving its US premiere.

BWW Preview: Berkshire Opera's RIGOLETTO for a #MeToo EraBWW Preview: Berkshire Opera's RIGOLETTO for a #MeToo Era
August 17, 2018

In Rigoletto we're dealing with abuse of women, male power, rape, murder. Obviously, the stories carry an unbelievable weight to them, says Jonathon Loy, who's not only the stage director of the Berkshire Opera Festival's RIGOLETTO opening on August 25, but also the company's General director. 'In this #MeToo time, I need to communicate why the opera is so relevant to today's audiences, young and old--and why everyone will relate to what's going on.

BWW Review: I Like MOZART. Does That Make Me a Bad Person?BWW Review: I Like MOZART. Does That Make Me a Bad Person?
August 16, 2018

Lincoln Center's MOSTLY MOZART FESTIVAL is over for the season and finished up with a program that was an oddity because it wasn't mostly Mozart (or no Mozart) but all Mozart. Well, hooray for the 18th century. I was happy to be back in the bosom of the festival's namesake. Does that make me a bad person?

BWW Review: Forget Mozart. It is THE FORCE OF THINGS that Begs Our AttentionBWW Review: Forget Mozart. It is THE FORCE OF THINGS that Begs Our Attention
August 9, 2018

Ashley Fure's and Adam Fure's THE FORCE OF THINGS: AN OPERA FOR OBJECTS--one of this week's unusual attractions at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival--took place at Brooklyn's Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet. As far as I could tell, that first sentence was filled with misnomers: no recognizable opera, no Mozart--and no classical ballet either. But what the piece may lack in clarity, it gains in its boundary-stretching reminder that while we're sitting around, going about our business, climate change is happening. Now.

BWW Review: What's Old is Nuovo for Crutchfield with Bel Canto TANCREDI at PurchaseBWW Review: What's Old is Nuovo for Crutchfield with Bel Canto TANCREDI at Purchase
August 1, 2018

It was 'out with the old (i.e., Caramoor) and in with the new (i.e., Purchase College)' for Will Crutchfield's love affair with all things bel canto this weekend, and what better way to get things rolling at his new company, Teatro Nuovo, than Rossini's TANCREDI. After all, it was the master's first big hit, written in just a month when Rossini was not yet 21.

BWW Review: Glimmerglass VIXEN is a Cunning Take on a Moral TaleBWW Review: Glimmerglass VIXEN is a Cunning Take on a Moral Tale
July 27, 2018

Anyone who loves Leos Janacek's gorgeous but grim operas--JENUFA, KATYA KABANOVA, MAKROPOLOUS--might be surprised by THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN. It's being presented, now through August, in a handsome production at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY.

BWW Review: The WEST SIDE of the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NYBWW Review: The WEST SIDE of the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY
July 25, 2018

Yes, it's still the Leonard Bernstein centennial and what better way to celebrate than at the Glimmerglass Festival with WEST SIDE STORY. It remains a unique creation, the collaboration of four geniuses: Bernstein himself, of course, Jerome Robbins (choreographer-director), Arthur Laurents (book) and then-newcomer Stephen Sondheim (lyricist/co-lyricist). Directed here with a deft hand by Francesca Zambello, the Festival's Artistic & General Director, and choreographed by Julio Monge

BWW Review: A Weekend in the Country at Glimmerglass Festival, Part One, SILENT NIGHTBWW Review: A Weekend in the Country at Glimmerglass Festival, Part One, SILENT NIGHT
July 24, 2018

None of the three pieces that I saw at the Glimmerglass Festival near Cooperstown, NY, last weekend was exactly what it seemed to be: Is CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN a fairy story or a cautionary tale? Is WEST SIDE STORY simply in a class of its own? Does SILENT NIGHT find that war is hellor that hell is simply other people? Let's begin with SILENT NIGHT.



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