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: EXTERMINATING ANGEL - Up Close and Personal with the Indiscreet Charms of the Upper Class at the MetBWW Review: EXTERMINATING ANGEL
Posted: Nov. 1, 2017


BWW Interview: Julian Grant's NEFARIOUS New Opera with Mark Campbell's Libretto Opens at Boston Lyric Opera, 11/8Interview: Grant's NEFARIOUS New Opera Opens at Boston Lyric Opera
Posted: Nov. 6, 2017


BWW Review: Perez Entices but Finley Triumphs in Massenet's THAIS at the MetReview: Perez Entices but Finley Triumphs in Massenet's THAIS at the Met
Posted: Nov. 14, 2017


BWW Review: Smooth Sailing for Top-Notch Cast in Zvulun's New DUTCHMAN for Atlanta OperaReview: Smooth Sailing for New DUTCHMAN at Atlanta Opera
Posted: Nov. 7, 2017


BWW Interview: From BOHEME to OTELLO and Back, Met Tenor Russell Thomas Finds Variety the Spice of Singing OperaBWW Interview: From BOHEME to OTELLO and Back, Variety is the Spice for Met Tenor Russell Thomas
Posted: Oct. 26, 2017


BWW Review: Forget Springsteen - Argerich Was the Rock-Star in Town at Carnegie HallBWW Review: Forget Springsteen - Argerich Was the Rock-Star in Town at Carnegie Hall
Posted: Oct. 24, 2017


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: 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 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 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: THREE WAY Makes Sex Last Too Long at BAMBWW Review: THREE WAY Makes Sex Last Too Long at BAM
Posted: Jun. 19, 2017


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 Preview: World Premiere of Adams's GIRLS OF THE GOLDEN WEST with Librettist-Director Sellars at San Francisco Opera, Nov. 21BWW Preview: World Premiere of Adams's GIRLS OF THE GOLDEN WEST with Librettist-Director Sellars at San Francisco Opera, Nov. 21
November 20, 2017

Anyone arriving at the San Francisco Opera expecting that the new John Adams-Peter Sellars collaboration, GIRLS OF THE GOLDEN WEST, will sound like any of their previous projects--THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER, DR. ATOMIC (also a SF Opera commission) or NIXON IN CHINA--will probably be in for a big surprise. The opera has its world premiere on November 21 in what was once a small town until the boom of California's Gold Rush.

BWW Review: Perez Entices but Finley Triumphs in Massenet's THAIS at the MetBWW Review: Perez Entices but Finley Triumphs in Massenet's THAIS at the Met
November 14, 2017

Is it time for a re-evaluation of Massenet's place in the current repertoire and put it up a notch? I wondered after seeing the season's opening performance of the Met's John Cox production of Massenet's THAIS on Saturday afternoon. With the right performers, there's a good case for his juicy, melodic writing--among the plethora of BOHEMES, TURANDOTS and BUTTERYFLYs on the season's schedule--although the stipulation of right performers is, as always, the catch.

BWW Review: Smooth Sailing for Top-Notch Cast in Zvulun's New DUTCHMAN for Atlanta OperaBWW Review: Smooth Sailing for Top-Notch Cast in Zvulun's New DUTCHMAN for Atlanta Opera
November 7, 2017

Atlanta may be landlocked, but a thrilling new sailing vessel came to town on Saturday night, in the new production of Wagner's DIE FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER (THE FLYING DUTCHMAN), at the Atlanta Opera in Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The company's General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun commanded the helm of the production--a particularly fitting description for an opera about the sea, how it taketh from and giveth to the men who call it home as well as to the women who love them.

BWW Review: Soprano Chuchman Excels in Pergolesi STABAT MATER at Lincoln Center's White Light FestivalBWW Review: Soprano Chuchman Excels in Pergolesi STABAT MATER at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival
November 6, 2017

Lincoln Center's White Light Festival devoted a pair of evenings last week to a staged performance of Pergolesi's gorgeous hymn to Mary, STABAT MATER, directed by choreographer Jessica Lang (originally done several years ago at the Glimmerglass Festival in upstate NY). It featured a pair of lyric soloists, soprano Adriana Chuchman and star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, with the Orchestra of St Luke's under Speranza Scappucci's thoughtful baton, at the Rose Theatre of Jazz from Lincoln Center.

BWW Interview: Julian Grant's NEFARIOUS New Opera with Mark Campbell's Libretto Opens at Boston Lyric Opera, 11/8BWW Interview: Julian Grant's NEFARIOUS New Opera with Mark Campbell's Libretto Opens at Boston Lyric Opera, 11/8
November 6, 2017

It's Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1828 and the city's world-renowned anatomy schools are suffering from a cadaver shortage. Enter two immoral and highly industrious men--William Burke and William Hare--who pick up the slack by murdering disenfranchised citizens and selling their corpses to one of these schools, Dr. Knox's Academy. Perfect story for a chamber opera, eh? Well, yes, actually, says composer Julian Grant (even if it's opening a bit late for Halloween).

BWW Review: EXTERMINATING ANGEL - Up Close and Personal with the Indiscreet Charms of the Upper Class at the MetBWW Review: EXTERMINATING ANGEL - Up Close and Personal with the Indiscreet Charms of the Upper Class at the Met
November 1, 2017

It's 'deja vu all over again' goes the quip attributed to the NY Yankees pitcher Yogi Berra. But that's the feeling I had with Thomas Ades's THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL, with libretto based on the Luis Bunuel film, 'El angel exterminador,' by Tom Cairns and the composer. (Cairns also directed.) Not that the opera looks or sounds like anything else recently produced on the Met's stage, except perhaps for Ades's own TEMPEST. Rather, it's because it seems like the operatic arm of France's Nouvelle Vague, the New Wave, of the late '50s and '60s.

BWW Review: City Opera's Chamber Version of DOLORES CLAIBORNE Proves Fitzgerald Was WrongBWW Review: City Opera's Chamber Version of DOLORES CLAIBORNE Proves Fitzgerald Was Wrong
October 27, 2017

There are no second acts in American lives, wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald in 'The Last Tycoon.' New York City Opera proves him wrong, with its new chamber version of the Tobias Picker-JD McClatchy 2013 opus DOLORES CLAIBORNE. Based on a novel by Stephen King perhaps better known from the film starring Kathy Bates this terse retelling of murder and misery among the rich and poor is never less than interesting and sometimes compelling in Michael Capasso's quickly moving production.

BWW Interview: From BOHEME to OTELLO and Back, Met Tenor Russell Thomas Finds Variety the Spice of Singing OperaBWW Interview: From BOHEME to OTELLO and Back, Met Tenor Russell Thomas Finds Variety the Spice of Singing Opera
October 26, 2017

'Bread-and-butter operas usually bore me,' tenor Russell Thomas told me frankly, as he prepared for his first performance of Rodolfo, at the Met, in Puccini's LA BOHEME--one of opera's most popular tenor roles--in nearly 15 years. But it wasn't any disdain for the role that kept him away from it: It was James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera's Music Director for 40 years (and still sometimes conductor) who led to his decision.

BWW Review: Forget Springsteen - Argerich Was the Rock-Star in Town at Carnegie HallBWW Review: Forget Springsteen - Argerich Was the Rock-Star in Town at Carnegie Hall
October 24, 2017

Though the classical music season is still young, it'll be tough for anything that lies ahead to compete with Friday night's performance at Carnegie Hall by Martha Argerich, who seemed to be having the time of her life, while showing total skill and control. The audience was hers from the get-go, stomping and whistling before she even sat down at the keyboard--as if they were at Madison Square Garden rather than this sometimes-demure palace of classical music.

BWW Opera News: Opera Director-Producer Yuval Sharon from LA is a MacArthur 'Genius'BWW Opera News: Opera Director-Producer Yuval Sharon from LA is a MacArthur 'Genius'
October 13, 2017

Yuval Sharon, founder and artistic director of The Industry, a Los Angeles based production company, is one of the new class of 24 Extraordinarily Creative People Who Inspire Us All, according to the MacArthur Foundation, and has been named one of the MacArthur Fellows better known as the genius grant.

BWW Review: Moved by WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED at Harlem's Apollo Theatre via Opera PhiladelphiaBWW Review: Moved by WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED at Harlem's Apollo Theatre via Opera Philadelphia
October 10, 2017

WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED, which made its NY debut in a pair of performances at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem last weekend, after its world premiere at Opera Philadelphia's O17 festival last month, is more than an opera or performance piece. And it sure as hell isn't an evening's entertainment. Composed by Daniel Bernard Roumarin with libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and directed, choreographed and shaped by Bill T. Jones, it is by turns incredibly moving and infuriatingly contemporary in a bold performance that I won't soon forget.

BWW Review: Grigolo in Fine Form and Morley is a Doll in Met's HOFFMANNBWW Review: Grigolo in Fine Form and Morley is a Doll in Met's HOFFMANN
October 8, 2017

There are no happy endings for the poet Hoffmann (even in the solid hands of the charismatic tenor Vittorio Grigolo) or any of the women he fantasizes about in Offenbach's LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN (TALES OF HOFFMANN). Still, there are enough enjoyable moments to make Offenbach's music worth hearing once and again.

BWW Review: Aucoin's CROSSING at BAM's New Wave Festival Hears America Singing and CryingBWW Review: Aucoin's CROSSING at BAM's New Wave Festival Hears America Singing and Crying
October 6, 2017

I wouldn't exactly call Matt Aucoin, 27, a show-off, even though he wrote the music and libretto for THE CROSSING--his 2015 opera having its NY debut at BAM's Next Wave Festival this past week--and conducted the performance as well. (He left the subtle, fine direction to Diane Paulus, who originally mounted it at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, where it was commissioned for the National Civil War Project.) But I would say he's remarkably (and justifiably) confident.

BWW Review: Radvanovsky is a Blazing NORMA, DiDonato Shines in New Met ProductionBWW Review: Radvanovsky is a Blazing NORMA, DiDonato Shines in New Met Production
October 4, 2017

The trio of soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, mezzo Joyce DiDonato and tenor Joseph Calleja promised a fine evening of singing for the Met's new NORMA and, for the most part, there wasn't much to quibble about. Too bad Sir David McVicar--and his design team--couldn't come up with something a little bolder, a little braver, a little more inventive than wandering trees and a giant lair that looked like an igloo in the off season to anchor its new production.

BWW Review: A Whirlwind Named ELIZABETH CREE by Puts and Campbell Blows into Opera PhiladelphiaBWW Review: A Whirlwind Named ELIZABETH CREE by Puts and Campbell Blows into Opera Philadelphia
September 29, 2017

Winston Churchill called Russia 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.' Well, Mother Russia had nothing on ELIZABETH CREE, the new chamber opera by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell, based on Peter Ackroyd's novel--having all those traits plus a brilliant score and a smart libretto that raced forward with cinematic speed.

BWW Review: Of Fairy Tales and Trials at Opera Philadelphia's WAKE WORLD and MAGIC FLUTEBWW Review: Of Fairy Tales and Trials at Opera Philadelphia's WAKE WORLD and MAGIC FLUTE
September 27, 2017

Superficially, Wolfgang Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE (or DIE ZAUBERFLOTE for you purists) and David Hertzberg's THE WAKE WORLD couldn't seem less alike and, taken together, they stretch the definition of what makes an opera. Yet, as part of Opera Philadelphia's daring new O17 opera festival, they have a surprising amount in common including spectacular scores that demand to be heard again and again.

BWW Review: FOUR NIGHTS in a Single Evening at the Japan SocietyBWW Review: FOUR NIGHTS in a Single Evening at the Japan Society
September 22, 2017

FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM, composer/librettist Moto Osada's opera performed in its US premiere last week at the Japan Society, is based on a cornerstone of 20th century Japanese literature, 'Ten Nights of Dream' by Natsume Soseki. While the four stories Osada has chosen may seem stylized and foreign to the Western sensibility, there is no such difficulty in being drawn in by his interesting, dynamic score--by turns lyric and harshly modern--and the staging by Alec Duffy.

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.



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