Richard Sasanow

Richard Sasanow Richard Sasanow is a long-time writer on art, music, food, travel and international business for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Town & Country and Travel & Leisure, among many others. He also interviewed some of the great singers of the 20th century for the programs at the San Francisco Opera and San Diego Opera and worked on US tours of the Orchestre National de France and Vienna State Opera, conducted by Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Leonard Bernstein.


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

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 Interview: Barnes-Storming in THE WAKE WORLD of Composer David HertzbergInterview: Barnes-Storming in THE WAKE WORLD of Composer David Hertzberg
Posted: Sep. 15, 2017


BWW Interview: Five Questions for Composer Moto Osada on FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM, New Chamber Opera Opening Sept. 13Interview: Five Questions for Composer Moto Osada of FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM
Posted: Sep. 11, 2017


BWW Review: Puccini's Minnie is No Mouse in NY City Opera's Lively FANCIULLA DEL WESTReview: Puccini's Minnie is No Mouse in NY City Opera?s Lively FANCIULLA DEL WEST
Posted: Sep. 10, 2017


BWW Review: Mostly Mozart's DON GIOVANNI Goes Back in TimeReview: Mostly Mozart's DON GIOVANNI Goes Back in Time
Posted: Aug. 29, 2017


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Netrebko and Mattei Spin Magic from Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN at the MetBWW Review: Netrebko and Mattei Spin Magic from Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN at the Met
Posted: Apr. 17, 2017


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: Racette Strips to Essentials as Opera's Ultimate Mean Girl, SALOME, at the MetBWW Review: SALOME at the Met
Posted: Dec. 13, 2016


BWW Interview: Barnes-Storming in THE WAKE WORLD of Composer David HertzbergBWW Interview: Barnes-Storming in THE WAKE WORLD of Composer David Hertzberg
September 15, 2017

The last of the new operas at the center of Opera Philadelphia's O17 opera fest is THE WAKE WORLD, a chamber piece written by composer/librettist David Hertzberg and directed by RB Schlather. It opens on Monday September 18 at the Barnes collection--the great museum in central Philadelphia--and promises a one-of-a-kind experience for those savvy enough to snare a ticket. (Its five performances are sold out.)

BWW Interview: Five Questions for Composer Moto Osada on FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM, New Chamber Opera Opening Sept. 13BWW Interview: Five Questions for Composer Moto Osada on FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM, New Chamber Opera Opening Sept. 13
September 11, 2017

Tokyo and New York City are the two home cities of composer Moto Osada, whose new chamber opera, FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM will have its North American premiere at the Japan Society in Manhattan on September 13, directed by Alec Duffy.

BWW Review: Puccini's Minnie is No Mouse in NY City Opera's Lively FANCIULLA DEL WESTBWW Review: Puccini's Minnie is No Mouse in NY City Opera's Lively FANCIULLA DEL WEST
September 10, 2017

The last time the Met did Puccini's LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST--GIRL OF THE GOLDEN WEST--it was such a dispiriting affair that I was ready to write it off as past its expiration date. New York City Opera to the rescue!, opening its season with a lively revival of the Italian master's work about the California Gold Rush and the tough-babe-with-a-heart-of-marshmallow who runs the saloon.

BWW Review: Mostly Mozart's DON GIOVANNI Goes Back in TimeBWW Review: Mostly Mozart's DON GIOVANNI Goes Back in Time
August 29, 2017

Though the title role in Mozart's DON GIOVANNI goes to the fabled lady killer--and Mostly Mozart's production was lucky to have a first-rate Don in baritone Christopher Maltman--the opera is a real ensemble piece, with every one of a half dozen characters key to a successful performance. In the Budapest Festival Orchestra's lively performance at Mostly Mozart under conductor and director Ivan Fischer, there was an extra element: an ensemble that tripled as chorus, dancers and, yes, scenery.

BWW Preview: All Things Considered, I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia, at the O17 Opera FestivalBWW Preview: All Things Considered, I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia, at the O17 Opera Festival
August 21, 2017

There are opera festivals and then there are OPERA FESTIVALS, but none that promise to be the equivalent of Opera Philadelphia's O17, which opens on September 14 for a 12-day run. It's a dazzling array of the old and new, the well-known and emerging, being produced at prestigious venues around the city, from the Academy of Music to the Barnes Foundation. There's even a screening in Independence Park of a hit from the last opera season.

BWW Review: MOSTLY MOZART Opens with Totally Terrific Focus on Young People's ChorusBWW Review: MOSTLY MOZART Opens with Totally Terrific Focus on Young People's Chorus
July 29, 2017

Well, no one can accuse Mostly Mozart of being in a rut. Even though the name of this season's first program, The Singing Heart, under Music director Louis Langree (heard on the 26th), is not so different from last year's opener, The Illuminated Heart, the two evenings couldn't have been more different. They did have one thing in common: They were both wonderful.

BWW Preview: Turn Off Your iPhone. STEVE JOBS Arrives at Santa Fe Opera on July 22BWW Preview: Turn Off Your iPhone. STEVE JOBS Arrives at Santa Fe Opera on July 22
July 19, 2017

With Grammy-nominated American composer Mason Bates dipping his toe into full-length operatic waters for the first time--and star librettist Mark Campbell doing it for the umpteenth--the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series gave an extended peak into the development of their new opera, THE (R)EVOLUTION OF STEVE JOBS, which premieres on July 22 at the Santa Fe Opera (SFO). Looking back at that evening in April, I recall how the extended musical excerpts gave the audience a good idea of the brilliance of Bates's score and the general excitement in store.

BWW Review: Costanzo Itchy to Bring Obscure Handel ACI to National Sawdust AudiencesBWW Review: Costanzo Itchy to Bring Obscure Handel ACI to National Sawdust Audiences
July 14, 2017

ACI, GALATEA E POLIFEMO (ACIS, GALATEA AND POLYPHEMUS)--which just opened a short run at Brooklyn's National Sawdust venue, ending on July 20, with star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo--may be the most obscure Handel opera that you think you know but don't. (And it's not an opera, either, for that matter.)

BWW Review: With Meade and PIRATA, Crutchfield's Bel Canto at Caramoor Goes Out with a BangBWW Review: With Meade and PIRATA, Crutchfield's Bel Canto at Caramoor Goes Out with a Bang
July 11, 2017

Chemistry in an opera performance is a funny thing. It's not always easy to explain why it's there, but you know when it isn't. But when it works, it worksand, boy, the Caramoor Festival's concert staging of Bellini's IL PIRATA on Saturday was on fire, with Angela Meade as the star soprano and Will Crutchfield on the podium.

BWW Interview: Walking the Tightrope with Angela Meade in Bellini's IL PIRATA at CaramoorBWW Interview: Walking the Tightrope with Angela Meade in Bellini's IL PIRATA at Caramoor
July 7, 2017

Being an opera singer is a little like walking a tightrope without a net--no matter who you're singing with, you're out there on stage, alone, for the crowd to cheer but, also for everyone to hear each glitch or misstep in your singing. Soprano Angela Meade--who's starring as Imogene in Caramoor's concert performance of Bellini's IL PIRATA, a role debut, on July 8--not only did her first wire-walking with a major role but at a big house: the Metropolitan Opera.

BWW Opera Preview, Part II: Hot Time, Summer Outside the CityBWW Opera Preview, Part II: Hot Time, Summer Outside the City
June 30, 2017

Who needs an excuse to leave NYC in the blistering days of summer? It's especially true if you head north to some of the bucolic opera and vocal venues within driving distance.

BWW Opera Preview, Part I: Hot Time, Summer in the City and NorthBWW Opera Preview, Part I: Hot Time, Summer in the City and North
June 29, 2017

Classic and contemporary, opera and orchestral, the music doesn't stop when the temperatures climb in New York, whether you're in New York City, or ready to travel to one of the festivals that dot the landscape of the Northeast. Musical life doesn't stop when the Met closes its doors: Here's a look from here to eternityin the first part of our series on summertime's opera/vocal venues, covering New York City and Westchester.

BWW Review: Au Revoir, Figaro, GUILTY as Charged from On Site OperaBWW Review: Au Revoir, Figaro, GUILTY as Charged from On Site Opera
June 22, 2017

Well, three cheers for On Site Opera, for completing its trilogy of works based on Beaumarchais' 18th century 'Figaro' plays and digging deepinto the repertoire to deliversome lesser known works. First, a BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA not by Rossini (theirs, by Giovanni Paisiello) and then a FIGARO not by Mozart (instead, Marcos Portugal). This week, the whip-smart company presented the American premiere, in partnership with the Darius Milhaud Society, of Milhaud's LA MERE COUPABLE (THE GUILTY MOTHER), based on the least known and, to some, the unknown, among the Beaumarchais plays.

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

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a place called Broadway, where you could find still find bills of one-act plays that, more often than not, offered titillation into then-current sexual practices and innovations. Zoom forward 40 years or so and opera has finally caught up with this oh-so-shocking (but-not-really) form of entertainment, with the local premiere of THREE WAY by Robert Paterson and David Cote, directed by John Hoomes.

BWW Review: City Opera's ANGELS IN AMERICA Sings in New York PremiereBWW Review: City Opera's ANGELS IN AMERICA Sings in New York Premiere
June 13, 2017

Can an opera's libretto be true to its literary source without being a carbon copy of it? It not only canit has to be; otherwise, a work like Peter Eotvos's ANGELS IN AMERICA would end up being as long as the four operas of Wagner's Ring Cycle without saying anything new. I knew that Eotvos's work, which had its New York premiere at New York City Opera last weekend, directed by Sam Helfrich, clocked in at around 2 hours, compared to the seven hours of Tony Kushner's two-part epic. How would it compress all those verbal parries, the humor, the politics, the theatricality, and still be ANGELS?

BWW Review: There's 'GOLD in Them Thar Hills as NY Philharmonic and Gilbert Take on Wagner's GodsBWW Review: There's 'GOLD in Them Thar Hills as NY Philharmonic and Gilbert Take on Wagner's Gods
June 5, 2017

Just after hearing the wonderfully well sung, semi-staged DAS RHEINGOLD at the NY Philharmonic, under departing Music Director Alan Gilbert, I saw the current Broadway revival of THE LITTLE FOXES. It seemedRichard Wagner's gods and Lillian Hellman's Hubbards had lots in common: The small-minded, self-serving gods of this production, at least, could have been friends and neighbors of the mendacious, corrupt Southerners in Hellman's play (or even of a would-be-royal family in Washington, DC).

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
June 5, 2017

Fifteen compelling minutes of a new work doesn't always turn into an opera for all seasons, but a first-look at ELIZABETH CREEKevin Puts' and Mark Campbell's latest collaboration--came across with startling originality. Based on Peter Ackrolyd's Victorian-era tale set in London's dangerous Limehouse district, the handful of arias were presented at the Crypt Sessions concert series in northern Manhattan, prior to its world premiere at Opera Philadelphia.

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, Showing More Lives than a Cat with Opening at New Orleans Opera
May 31, 2017

You don't have to be transgender, or even an opera-lover, to be moved and haunted by AS ONE, the chamber opera by Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed having its local debut June 2 at the New Orleans Opera. It's a work that will reach anyone who has come to terms with growing up, learning to live with themselves, dealing with the short-comings of others. In other words, all of us.

BWW Review: NY OperaFest Shows COQ and BUTTERFLY as Works that Don't Go Away  -  They Get DayGlo-ed and DeconconstructedBWW Review: NY OperaFest Shows COQ and BUTTERFLY as Works that Don't Go Away - They Get DayGlo-ed and Deconconstructed
May 26, 2017

There's lots going on in the world of opera in New York City, as shown by the gamut of offerings under the umbrella of the ongoing New York OperaFest, co-organized by the New York Opera Alliance and Opera America. In the last week, the New Opera NYC gave us a cockeyed look at Rimsky-Korsakov's LE COQ D'OR (THE GOLDEN COCKEREL), while Heartbeat Opera took an ax to Puccini, and gave us a 'Madama'-less BUTTERFLY.

BWW Interview: Getting 'Fantastic Results' with Great Orchestras Makes Conductor Manfred Honeck HappyBWW Interview: Getting 'Fantastic Results' with Great Orchestras Makes Conductor Manfred Honeck Happy
May 22, 2017

Nobody puts conductor Manfred Honeck in a corner--except, perhaps the maestro himself. For instance, the Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony and frequent guest conductor in the US and Europe makes no bones about viewing himself as the quintessential mittel-european maestro, devoted to Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Richard Strauss and others of that ilk. But he's also an advocate of the music of the 21st century and works by Shankar, Stucky, Danielpour, Adamsand other newer masters.



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