All stories by Richard Sasanow on BroadwayStars

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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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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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BWW Preview: Inside BREAKING THE WAVES, 'A Fever Dream of an Opera,' by Mazzoli and Vavrek, at the Guggenheim's Works & Process by Richard Sasanow

Quick: What film won the Golden Globe for Best Movie in 1997? It was THE ENGLISH PATIENT. But more important for composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, the question is What film…

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Friday, August 5, 2016

BWW Review: Elza van den Heever Thrills in Her 'Date' with Beethoven's FIDELIO at Caramoor by Richard Sasanow

South African soprano Elza van den Heever has long had a 'date' with Beethoven's Leonore, in his only completed opera FIDELIO. It wasn't exactly a blind date--she has known for years that, e…

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

BWW Interview: Elza van den Heever Takes on Beethoven's Leonore in FIDELIO at Caramoor and It's 'No Joke' by Richard Sasanow

When South African soprano Elza van den Heever made her debut at the Met, as Elizabeth I in Donizetti's MARIA STUARDA, it was something that was totally memorable in every way--not only for …

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BWW Review: Bard SummerScape Tackles Mascagni's Little-Known IRIS by Richard Sasanow

It probably would have been worth the trip to Bard SummerScape's production of Pietro Mascagni's IRIS--last heard at the Met in 1931--simply to make the acquaintance of soprano Talise Trevig…

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BWW Review: An Evening with the Divine Mr. M(ozart) at Lincoln Center by Richard Sasanow

THE ILLUMINATED HEART, the opening program for this year's Mostly Mozart Festival--the 50th--at David Geffen Hall, may not have offered any new insights into the mind of the genius composer …

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Summer Stages: No Rest for the Opera Crowd in the Northeast This Summer by Richard Sasanow

Although the solstice doesn't officially appear for another week or so, the summer opera clock is already ticking. There's a plethora of performances going on all over New York City, in addi…

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BWW Interview: Director Kevin Newbury, Contemporary Opera and the World of FELLOW TRAVELERS by Richard Sasanow

Although Kevin Newbury has directed operas by some of history's greatest composers--Donizetti and Bellini, Strauss and Mozart among them--he makes no bones about it: He prefers his composers…

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

BWW Opera Review: SF vs. NY, Tilson Thomas vs. Gilbert, Mezzo vs. Baritone, But Audiences Take the LIED by Richard Sasanow

Earth Day has come and gone in 2016, but symphonic orchestra audiences in New York have lots to remember from this year's celebration, with performances of Mahler's DAS LIED VON DER ERDE (SO…

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BWW Interview: A SHINING Hour for Mark Campbell and the Art of Libretto-WritingBWW Interview: A SHINING Hour for Mark Campbell and the Art of Libretto by Richard Sasanow

Do you remember that cataclysmal moment in the Stanley Kubrick film of Stephen King's The Shining, when Jack Nicholson axes his way through the bathroom door and says, wild-eyed, Here's John…

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Monday, April 18, 2016

BWW Interview: Executive Producer Rolando Sanz Talks Andrew Lippa's ANNE HUTCHINSON/HARVEY MILK and Its Date with Destiny by Richard Sasanow

When Broadway's Andrew Lippa was commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus to write I AM HARVEY MILK for its 35th anniversary in 2013, the hour-long work was a success from the star…

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BWW Interview: Executive Producer Roland Sanz Talks Andrew Lippa's ANNE HUTCHINSON/HARVEY MILK and Its Date with Destiny by Richard Sasanow

The world premiere production of a new work, I AM ANNE HUTCHINSON I AM HARVEY MILK--what the creators call a concept opera--takes place next Saturday, April 23, at the Music Center at Strath…

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Friday, April 15, 2016

BWW Interview: Fort Worth's JFK, the World of Contemporary Opera and American Lyric Theater's Lawrence Edelson by Richard Sasanow

The premiere of JFK in Fort Worth on April 23 is a big step forward for composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek--who made a splash in contemporary opera circles with their post-…

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

BWW Review: Radvanovsky Completes Donizetti Hat Trick with Potent DEVEREUX at the Met by Richard Sasanow

The Tudor Trilogy --putting together Donizetti's ANNA BOLENA, MARIA STUARDA and ROBERTO DEVEREUX--was fabricated to light Beverly Sills' fire as America's Queen of Opera at the old New York …

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