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: A Weekend in the Country at Glimmerglass Festival, Part One, SILENT NIGHTReview: A Weekend at Glimmerglass Festival, Part One, SILENT NIGHT
Posted: Jul. 24, 2018


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


BWW Review: Glimmerglass VIXEN is a Cunning Take on a Moral TaleReview: Glimmerglass VIXEN is a Cunning Take on a Moral Tale
Posted: Jul. 27, 2018


BWW Review: Call It Mishmash or MASS, Mostly Mozart Celebrates Bernstein CentennialBWW Review: Call It Mishmash or MASS, Mostly Mozart Celebrates Bernstein Centennial
Posted: Jul. 19, 2018


BWW Review: What's Old is Nuovo for Crutchfield with Bel Canto TANCREDI at PurchaseReview: What's Old is Nuovo for Crutchfield with Bel Canto TANCREDI at Purchase
Posted: Aug. 1, 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 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 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: It May Not Be Celestial but AIDA Reigns in Brooklyn at Feisty Regina OperaBWW Review: AIDA Reigns at Brooklyn's Feisty Regina Opera
Posted: May. 16, 2018


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.

BWW Review: Call It Mishmash or MASS, Mostly Mozart Celebrates Bernstein CentennialBWW Review: Call It Mishmash or MASS, Mostly Mozart Celebrates Bernstein Centennial
July 19, 2018

This week, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival added its two-cents to the Leonard Bernstein centennial festivities, with the first of two performances of Bernstein's MASS: A THEATRE PIECE FOR SINGERS, PLAYS AND DANCERS, in an environmental production by Elkhanah Pulitzer.

BWW OperaView: Calling HAMILTON by That Dirty NameBWW OperaView: Calling HAMILTON by That Dirty Name
July 9, 2018

When Stephen Sondheim was asked was asked about whether his great musical drama SWEENEY TODD was a musical or an opera, he once responded, When it's done in a theatre, it's a musical. When it's done in an opera house, it's an opera. Well, then, what about HAMILTON, the musical sensation of our time? Is it possible that it's (gasp!) an opera waiting to emerge?

BWW Preview: More Music in the Northeast This SummerBWW Preview: More Music in the Northeast This Summer
June 21, 2018

If you didn't find a performance to attend in the first part of this series--or you simply can't get enough operas, symphonic concerts and musical theatre pieces thrown in for good measure--here's more to choose from. It covers the gamut from the Mozart REQUIEM to Bernstein, Bernstein and more Bernstein.

BWW Preview: Summertime and the Music is Easy, in the NortheastBWW Preview: Summertime and the Music is Easy, in the Northeast
June 11, 2018

If you can't get enough of operas, symphonic concerts and a few musical theatre pieces thrown in for good measure, have I got a summer for you! Start in New York City and head north--almost around the corner, or a weekend (or more) away--and you'll find more than enough to keep you happy during the sultry weather ahead. (Even if it doesn't turn out quite so sultry) It covers the gamut from Handel to Puccini, from serial podcasts to light opera, from dramma serio to musical comedy, with an added emphasis on Leonard Bernstein as the music world celebrates his 100th birthday.

BWW Speaking Out: Creating a New American Operatic CanonBWW Speaking Out: Creating a New American Operatic Canon
June 20, 2018

Why do we need a program to train opera composers and librettists? Mozart and Da Ponte--together, creators of LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, DON GIOVANNI and COSI FAN TUTTE--didn't go through training programs!

BWW Review: DINNER Now Being Served at NYU's Opera Lab and American Opera ProjectsBWW Review: DINNER Now Being Served at NYU's Opera Lab and American Opera Projects
June 2, 2018

What's left to say about Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party--that milestone of 20th century feminist art now on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum--that hasn't already been said? Actually, quite a bit, according to the students from the Opera Lab of NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (GMTWP), who have taken a handful of the pieces and used them--and the work as a whole--as inspiration for a series of short operas, under the guidance of the Lab's co-directors, Randall Eng and Sam Helfrich.

BWW Review: Same Time, Next BROKEBACK, Premiering at City OperaBWW Review: Same Time, Next BROKEBACK, Premiering at City Opera
June 1, 2018

At the opening of New York City Opera's US premiere production of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, with a libretto by Annie Proulx based on her short story, it was the score by Charles Wuorinen that knocked me out, with its intricacies, aural moodiness and exciting orchestration. Yet, there was hardly a moment that I felt I was listening to an opera.

Mixing Military Racism and a Mother's Love, AN AMERICAN SOLDIER Opens at Opera Theatre of St. LouisMixing Military Racism and a Mother's Love, AN AMERICAN SOLDIER Opens at Opera Theatre of St. Louis
May 31, 2018

AN AMERICAN SOLDIER--music by Huang Ruo and libretto by David Henry Hwang, directed by Matthew Ozawa--opened at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) on June 3. The opera asks the powerful question: What does it mean to be an American? It is based on the true story of a young Chinese American, who enlisted in the Army during the war in Afghanistan and became victim of military hazing that led to his suicide. The artists spoke about the creation of the piece at the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series.

BWW Review: Works Old and New Show THEA MUSGRAVE Still the Life of the PartyBWW Review: Works Old and New Show THEA MUSGRAVE Still the Life of the Party
May 29, 2018

Now into her 10th decade, the venerable composer Thea Musgrave is still full-steam ahead. The Scotch-born musician celebrated her 90th birthday last night (May 27) at a New York concert with world premieres, US premieres and NY premieres.

BWW Interview: Thea Musgrave at 90, Queen of SCOTS and Composer for all SeasonsBWW Interview: Thea Musgrave at 90, Queen of SCOTS and Composer for all Seasons
May 22, 2018

Composer Thea Musgrave is celebrating these days. It's not just that she's marking her 90th birthday on May 27 with a concert in New York, but that the concert is showcasing a gaggle of world premieres, US premieres and NY premieres (along with more familiar works), which highlight her rich musical vocabulary and keen sense of drama.

BWW Review: It May Not Be Celestial but AIDA Reigns in Brooklyn at Feisty Regina OperaBWW Review: It May Not Be Celestial but AIDA Reigns in Brooklyn at Feisty Regina Opera
May 16, 2018

While New York waits for Netrebko's house debut as Aida to the Met next year, we always haveBrooklyn? If you hurry, you can catch next weekend's matinees--it's a local company that knows its audience and schedules accordingly--at the feisty Regina Opera Company, which is featuring a surprisingly effective take on the work. It is one of the productions that's part of the NY Opera Fest from the NY Opera Alliance.

BWW Review: Oratorio Society Gives SANCTUARY to the Underground Railroad at Carnegie HallBWW Review: Oratorio Society Gives SANCTUARY to the Underground Railroad at Carnegie Hall
May 10, 2018

The world premiere performance of SANCTUARY ROAD (subtitled An Oratorio Based on the Writings of William Still, a Conductor for the Underground Railroad), by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, performed by the Oratorio Society of New York under Kent Tritle, burst forth from the stage of Carnegie Hall the other night, with energy, humanity and, of course, great musicality from all involved.

BWW Review: No Babying the Audience at BAMBINO, the Opera for Toddlers, at the MetBWW Review: No Babying the Audience at BAMBINO, the Opera for Toddlers, at the Met
May 7, 2018

No one in the audience was on Facebook or Twitter during Lliam Paterson's opera BAMBINO at the Met's List Hall--a rare occurrence for the company these days--on Friday May 4. In fact, no one looked at a cell phone at all during the performance. And nobody fell asleep--even though the opera was written for 6-18 month-olds and the children might have been forgiven for napping on the comfy pillows that filled the stage. (Their parents were on good behavior, too.)

BWW Review: 'Orange' is the New FIDELIO from Heartbeat Opera at NY Opera FestBWW Review: 'Orange' is the New FIDELIO from Heartbeat Opera at NY Opera Fest
May 5, 2018

Despite some great music, nobody ever said that Beethoven's FIDELIO is an easy opera to love. Yet, the reduced, revised and reconfigured 90-minute version that Heartbeat Opera premiered the other night--as part of this year's NY Opera Fest from the New York Opera Alliance--showed some fearless work that was somehow true to the original yet very current. This tale of the rescue of a political prisoner, Florestan, by his wife, Leonore, disguised as a prison guard, will always work. And the powerful use of a chorus of prisonershere, represented by projected work of actual prison choruses from around the Midwestwas a master stroke.



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