All stories by Richard Sasanow on BroadwayStars

Thursday, April 11, 2019

BWW Review: Van Hove's Take on Janacek's DIARY at BAM Is Audacious - But Not in a Good Way by Richard Sasanow

Audacious can mean daring--and Belgian director Ivo van Hove certainly fits that description for his approaches to Arthur Miller's A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE and THE CRUCIBLE and numerous other …

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BWW Review: Fleming and Whishaw Open NY Arts Center, The Shed, with NORMA JEANE BAKER OF TROY by Richard Sasanow

Helen of Troy didn't launch a thousand ships but was a put-upon sexual victim and Marilyn Monroe--born Norma Jeane Baker, of the title--was a cloud in the shape of a woman. It was also a dis…

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Friday, April 5, 2019

BWW Interview: Composer Iain Bell and Librettist Mark Campbell - A Match Made at STONEWALL (and City Opera) by Richard Sasanow

Was the pairing of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell--respectively, composer and librettist of New York City Opera's (NYCO) world premiere STONEWALL--"love at first sight"? I asked them. We wer…

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BWW Review: [Opera] Star Trek - The Next Generation from the Met National Council Finals Concert by Richard Sasanow

Judging by the number of small opera companies in New York alone--see the 2019 New York Opera Fest that starts performances next month--there's no shortage of up and coming opera singers try…

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BWW Review: Mozart's CLEMENZA DI TITO Brings Best Cast of Season to Met by Richard Sasanow

While the cast for the season's revival of Mozart's LA CLEMENZA DI TITO looked good on paper, it didn't even hint at how good the singing was going to be at the Met this week. From toptenor …

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

BWW Review: Debuts Galore at Met's First DON GIOVANNI of the Season, But Willis-Sorensen's Anna Steals the Show by Richard Sasanow

According to a quote attributed to Andy Warhol, if you want to tell a good painting from a bad one, first look at a thousand paintings; then you'll realize that there are no hard and fast ru…

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

BWW Overview: A Look-Back at Opera's Many-Colored Dream Coat of Performance Highs in 2018 by Richard Sasanow

Well, it's that time of the year again--time for a look-back on what was worth making note of during the calendar year that's about to come to an end. It's from a totally personal, subjectiv…

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

BWW NewsBreak: Five Minutes in Heaven with Superstar ANNA NETREBKO, the Met's Next Salome by Richard Sasanow

The traffic in midtown Manhattan was its usual horror at lunchtime last Fridayand Anna Netrebko was stuck in it. She was on the way to Cipriani 42nd Street, across from Grand Central Station…

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Friday, October 19, 2018

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

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 an…

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BWW Review: Kaufmann Returns to the Met with a ‘Heigh-ho Silver’ in Puccini’s FANCIULLA DEL WEST by Richard Sasanow

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 h…

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

BWW Review: Met Opera Season Opens with Crazy, Rich Philistine-Style SAMSON ET DALILA by Richard Sasanow

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, cert…

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BWW Review: 'Losing Your Mind' Three Ways in a Weekend at Opera Philadelphia's Festival O18 by Richard Sasanow

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 the…

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

BWW Review: I Like MOZART. Does That Make Me a Bad Person? by Richard Sasanow

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 f…

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BWW Preview: Berkshire Opera's RIGOLETTO for a #MeToo Era by Richard Sasanow

“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 direc…

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

BWW Review: A Weekend in the Country at Glimmerglass Festival, Part One, SILENT NIGHT by Richard Sasanow

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 ta…

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BWW Review: The WEST SIDE of the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY by Richard Sasanow

Yes, it's still the Leonard Bernstein centennial (actually, his birthdate was August 25, 1918) and what better way to celebrate than at the Glimmerglass Festival with WEST SIDE STORY.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

BWW OperaView: Calling HAMILTON by That Dirty Name by Richard Sasanow

When Sondheim was asked was asked about whether his great 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 h…

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

BWW Review: Have You Met Ms. BULLOCK? JULIA, That Is, At Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall by Richard Sasanow

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 he…

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

BWW Review: Juilliard's HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE Shows How Modern French Opera Began by Richard Sasanow

The Juilliard School pulled out all the stops for Stephen Wadsworth's production of 1733's HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE by Jean-Philippe Rameau this week. Gorgeously designed by Charlie Corcoran with…

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BWW Interview: Lawrence Brownlee on CYCLES OF MY BEING, in NY Premiere at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, April 24 by Richard Sasanow

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…

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Monday, January 15, 2018

BWW Review: TRAVELERS in a Strange Land Called Washington, D.C., in NY Debut at Prototype 2018 by Richard Sasanow

Even if it were just for its history lesson about the "lavender scare" of the '50s-- the witch hunt and the mass firings of gay men and women from the federal government during the McCarthy …

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

BWW Preview: The PROTOTYPE of a Very 21st-Century New Opera-Music Theatre Festival, January 9-20 by Richard Sasanow

With less than a week until the opening of New York's PROTOTYPE 2018, I was Skype-ing with the producers--no, not Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick--but Jecca Barry (of Beth Morrison Project…

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Friday, January 5, 2018

BWW Review: The Met's New TOSCA Tries for Beauty but Disappoints by Richard Sasanow

The trials and tribulations of the Met's new take on Puccini's TOSCA have been well documented--with all three principals replaced along with two conductors--and it would be nice to be able …

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Friday, November 10, 2017

BWW Review: EXTERMINATING ANGEL - Up Close and Personal with the Indiscreet Charms of the Upper Class at the Met by Richard Sasanow

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 t…

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BWW Review: Soprano Chuchman Excels in Pergolesi STABAT MATER at White Light Festival by Richard Sasanow

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 …

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BWW Interview: Julian Grant's NEFARIOUS New Opera with Mark Campbell's Libretto Opens at Boston Lyric Opera by Richard Sasanow

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…

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BWW Review: Smooth Sailing for Top-Notch Cast in Zvulun's New DUTCHMAN for Atlanta Opera by Richard Sasanow

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 …

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Monday, June 5, 2017

BWW Preview: ELIZABETH CREE is a Tale from a New York Crypt Headed for Philadelphia Opera Festival by Richard Sasanow

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 acros…

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BWW Review: There's 'GOLD in Them Thar Hills as NY Philharmonic and Gilbert Take on Wagner's Gods by Richard Sasanow

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 …

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 10:54PM
Friday, May 19, 2017

BWW Interview, Part II: Composer Kevin Puts, Soprano Renee Fleming and Developing LETTERS FROM GEORGIA by Richard Sasanow

Since writing his first opera, SILENT NIGHT--the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner for Music--with librettist Mark Campbell, composer Kevin Puts he has done two other operas, also with Campbell. Th…

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BWW Review: War Is Hell but the Puts-Campbell SILENT NIGHT Is a Wonder in Atlanta by Richard Sasanow

If satire is what closes on Saturday night (according to the great playwright and wit George S. Kaufman), then contemporary opera is usually not far behind. That is, unless it's Kevin Puts' …

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