All stories by Richard Sasanow on BroadwayStars

Friday, June 7, 2019

BWW Review: Forget 'Games of Thrones,' DiDonato's Got a Grip on AGRIPPINA in Barcelona, and Heading to the Met and Covent Garden by Richard Sasanow

For those of us who couldn't wait to hear mezzo Joyce DiDonato in a fully staged performance of Handel's AGRIPPINAheading to Covent Garden in September and the Met in February in different p…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 03:40PM
Monday, June 3, 2019

BWW Interview: Kim Reed Is Inspiration and Co-librettist of AS ONE at City Opera by Richard Sasanow

It's been quite a ride, says Kim Reed, co-librettist, filmmaker--and inspiration--for AS ONE, the chamber opera by Laura Kaminsky, with co-librettist Mark Campbell. The work's 27th productio…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 05:51AM

BWW Review: Five Years and 26 Productions Later, AS ONE Makes a Splendid Return to New York at City Opera by Richard Sasanow

The spectacularly musical, touchingly dramatic, surprisingly funny and profoundly moving chamber opera, AS ONE, by Laura Kaminsky, Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell, made its long-overdue retu…

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

BWW Review: Diana Damrau Plays the Palace with de Maistre's Elegant Harp in Barcelona by Richard Sasanow

For me, concert-going in Barcelona is not simply hearing a singer like Diana Damrau bring beauty and insights to the music of great composers, but where you get to hear her perform this magi…

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Monday, May 6, 2019

LADY IN THE DARK a Walk on the Weill Side with MasterVoices and Victoria Clark at City Center by Richard Sasanow

The line between Broadway-type musical theatre and opera becomes finer by the year--though I dare say that TOOTSIE is unlikely to be showing up at the Met any time soon. But the Kurt Weill-I…

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BWW Review: Leonard Is CARMELITES' Soft Center in Met's Brilliant Production by Richard Sasanow

You'd never know that the Met's production of Francis Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES is over 40 years old, except for a few giveaways. There are no dancing nuns, no nudity, no screeching…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 09:21PM
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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 02:16AM
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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 03:52PM

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 …

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 03:50PM
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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 03:20PM
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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 03:56PM

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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 03:22AM

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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 03:22AM
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.

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 05:53PM
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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 10:07AM
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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 07:15PM

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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 07:14PM
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 …

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 06:58PM
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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 10:08PM
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 …

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 02:22PM
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…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 02:15PM

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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