All stories by Richard Sasanow on BroadwayStars

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 …

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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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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

BWW Review: A Passionate Vittorio Grigolo in the Off-Kilter World of Massenet's WERTHER at the Met by Richard Sasanow

Tenor Vittorio Grigolo always seems most at home on stage when he's living close to the edge--portraying a character who's losing control (or about to) of his emotions. It was true earlier t…

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BWW Review: What's Really Old is New Again, with POPPEA from Concerto Italiano at Carnegie Hall by Richard Sasanow

Monteverdi's L'INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA--THE CORONATION OF POPPEA--is considered the oldest opera in existence, but the version performed by Concerto Italiano at Carnegie Hall the other night…

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BWW Review: Damrau and Camarena Radiate Star Power in the Met's PURITANI by Richard Sasanow

The last time soprano Diana Damrau and tenor Javier Camarena appeared together at the Met, they reinvented the deadly Mary Zimmerman production of Bellini's LA SONNAMBULA and made it into so…

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

BWW Review: Two Nights in Seville, Part 1 - with BARBIERE at the Met by Richard Sasanow

It didn't strike me until the lights were going down for the start of CARMEN last Thursday that this was the second night in a row that Met audiences were being transported to the same town …

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BWW Review: Two Nights in Seville, Part 2 – a New Gypsy in Town for Met's CARMEN by Richard Sasanow

It's that time of the year again, when the flu season gives artistic administrators big headaches, trying to fill in the blanks when a headliner calls in sick. CARMEN's been a particular hea…

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

BWW Review: I Spy Prototype Festival's Chamber Opera, MATA HARI by Richard Sasanow

The life and times of the spy-as-femme-fatale, Mata Hari, has always attracted the interest of film and stage artists. Now we have the Matt Marks-Paul Peers opera MATA HARIwhich opened New Y…

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BWW Review: Pointer/Counterpoint – City Opera's CANDIDE vs. Prototype's BREAKING THE WAVES by Richard Sasanow

When I saw that New York City Opera was doing Leonard Bernstein's CANDIDE at the same time as New York's Prototype Festival--with Missy Mazzoli's BREAKING THE WAVES opening the festival of o…

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

BWW Review: Stars Align in Met's BOHEME with Opolais, Beczala, Kele and Cavalletti by Richard Sasanow

Take Puccini's LA BOHEME for granted at your peril. Sure, it has more gorgeous music per square inch than just about any other opera in the repertoire, but that doesn't mean that it always f…

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Friday, November 25, 2016

BWW Interview: As BOHEME's Marcello at the Met, Baritone Massimo Cavalletti Is the Real Deal by Richard Sasanow

When Massimo Cavelletti stepped on stage at the Met on November 16, it was a milestone: His 100th performance as Marcello, the baritone lead in LA BOHEME and part of the quartet at the opera…

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

BWW Interview: Composer Kevin Puts, the Pulitzer Prize and Atlanta Opera's SILENT NIGHT by Richard Sasanow

Art isn't easy, Stephen Sondheim wrote famously in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. Some artists, however, make it look simpler than others--like composer Kevin Puts, who won the Pulitzer Pri…

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BWW Review: Karita Mattila Steals the Show in Janacek's JENUFA at the Met by Richard Sasanow

The opera's called JENUFA, after the unfortunate young woman at the center of its story. But the star of the show at the Met's revival of this soaring musical masterpiece by Janacek is the K…

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BWW Review: An Old-Fashioned Opera Hoedown at Carnegie Hall's Richard Tucker Gala by Richard Sasanow

Returning to Carnegie Hall this year after more than 25 years, the Richard Tucker Galacelebrating the current winner of the Richard Tucker Award, soprano Tamara Wilson, as well as the life a…

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Friday, October 7, 2016

BWW Review: The Agony and Ecstasy of the Met's New TRISTAN UND ISOLDE by Richard Sasanow

For the sheer magnitude of its singing, there hasn't been anything like the Met's ecstatic new production of TRISTAN UND ISOLDE in a very long time.

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