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Press
Press
Meditations on Rilke with The Cleveland Orchestra
And what instruments were those of Burton and Cooke. Whether singing separately or together, the two artists evinced stunning versatility, bringing to the musical poetry enormous palettes of color, power, and expression. Both moved with obvious comfort and command across their ranges and between styles and vocal dimensions.
February 21, 2020
Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer
Hansel and Gretel at San Francisco Opera
Cooke in particular turned in a performance of remarkable lushness and vigor, creating a Hansel who lingered beguilingly in a border region between juvenile and full-grown leading man. Her singing soared securely above the dark clangor of the orchestra — even at the pumped-up volume favored by conductor Christopher Franklin — and she gave the role a buff athleticism that proved charming throughout.
November 15, 2019
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Orlando at San Francisco Opera
This challenging role, originally written for the celebrated contralto castrato Senesino, holds no terror for Ms. Cooke, who dispatches Orlando’s Act 1 bravura aria “Fammi combattere” with fiery brilliance[...] It’s a dramatic tour de force as fine as anything I’ve heard on an operatic stage.
June 17, 2019
Truman Wang, San Francisco Classical Voice
Les Nuits d’Ete with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
American mezzo Sasha Cooke did so exquisitely, capturing the delicate meld of Gautier's poetry and Berlioz's music. This was superlative artistry; we heard vocal power and warmth with no strain whatsoever, coupled with a pure and flexible tone, bewitchingly lustrous in its lower register. Already, in April, this must be one of the standout performances of the concert year.
April 24, 2018
William Dart, New Zealand Herald
Rinaldo on tour with The English Concert
Sasha Cooke’s Goffredo offered as lustrous a voice as was heard all evening, a burnished mezzo-soprano with some of the deeper colours of an alto, and with a dignity of delivery to match the character.
March 14, 2018
Roy Westbrook, Bachtrack
Marnie (world premiere) at English National Opera
In the title role, the mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke sings with both warmth and a barely concealed backbone of steel, and projects ruefulness and the tiniest touch of humor.
November 19, 2017
Zachary Woolfe, New York Times
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (world premiere) at Santa Fe Opera
Sasha Cooke sings a faultless, warm, engaging Laurene Powers Jobs with a dignified stage presence and quiet charisma to spare. Her long closing soliloquy/eulogy after Steve’s memorial service is simply the opera’s finest moment. I’m reminded of Susan B [Anthony]’s similar soliloquy concluding Thomson’s masterpiece, The Mother of Us All. It doesn’t get much better than that.
July 27, 2017
John Stiege, Santa Fe Reporter
Handel, Mozart and Mahler with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
With her rock-solid, richly textured mezzo, Cooke pointed out the words in “Blicke mir Nicht in die Lieder,” rose gloriously in “Liebst du um Schõnheit” and conveyed the quiet, trance-like intensity of “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” with exquisite control [...] The orchestra certainly knew how to put the zip behind Cooke’s room-filling dramatics in “Deh, per questo istante solo” from Mozart’s “La clemenza di Tito”
March 19, 2017
Richard Ginell, Los Angeles Times
Das Lied von der Erde with San Francisco Symphony
But anytime you add Cooke into the mix, there’s a whole new level of magic involved. She brings an extraordinary wealth of tonal color to a performance, as well as a degree of emotional intensity that can be almost unnerving in its focus.
April 7, 2016
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Carnegie Hall Recital
A song recital by the luminous American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke is always an event. Her outing on March 12 in New York City’s Zankel Hall, with the attentive Julius Drake at the piano, was no less so with its world premiere by Kevin Puts...Cooke’s commitment to contemporary music seems a natural part of her musical curiosity and communicative commitment. Each piece on this recital revealed a different aspect of her rich artistic personality, from the classical gravity of Haydn’s scena, Arianna a Naxos, to the giddy hilarity of Cole Porter’s “Give Him the Ooh-La-La.”
June 2, 2015
Judith Malafronte, Opera News
Mahler 3 with San Francisco Symphony on Tour, Royal Festival Hall
The best thing about this performance was Sasha Cooke, the American mezzo whose resonant tone and intelligent projection raised the fourth movement to a different level.
March 17, 2014
Andrew Clark, Financial Times
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene (world premiere) at San Francisco Opera
The best news in "Mary Magdalene" was Cooke's majestic performance. In her company debut, the American mezzo made a brilliant impression, her characterization composed of equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness. Her honey-colored voice was deployed luxuriantly; Cooke sang with complete conviction, sounding unforced and lustrous throughout a long evening.
September 18, 2013
Georgia Rowe, Opera News
Missa Solemnis with the San Francisco Symphony
Flanking Tilson Thomas were four soloists, all excellent -- though a special "hosanna" must go out to mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, whose singing of "miserere nobis" ("have mercy upon us") in the "Agnus Dei" was like an expanding column of pure concentrated sound. It was soulfully unnerving, shaking your inners, bringing to mind the likes of Callas and Coltrane. Wow.
May 11, 2013
Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News
Show Boat at Houston Grand Opera
Sasha Cooke brings a rich, beautifully supported soprano to Magnolia, persuasively charting her growth from starry-eyed innocent to life-toughened survivor, with the right soignée polish in her late-in-the-action Ziegfeld turn "Nobody Else But Me."
January 23, 2013
Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle
Songs and Arias with Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin
"Das amerikanische Wunder" A still very young singer from California took the stage. She made her entrance in her blue taffeta gown, with such self-assurance as if she had been born a diva [...]This mezzo soprano has the blues in her voice, she has that swing in every fiber of her body. Her voice is wonderfully clear, with a timbre of liquid gold. She rocked the Philharmonie right from the first note of the Shaker song, “Simple Gifts,” she moved the audience so that the out-of-office politicians awoke, and the B-list celebrities felt like A-listers. All applauded like crazy, right after every selection. They didn’t want to let her leave. Her name is Sasha Cooke, a name to take note of.
September 9, 2012
Eleonore Büning, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the New Zealand Symphony
What a voice. Thrillingly free at the top, it is even more spine-tingling down in its contralto region, and the freedom from excessive vibrato gave a clarity to the text. And how vividly she was inside Mahler's words, with each song characterised with great intensity. This was, quite simply, great singing.
March 19, 2012
John Button, Wellington Dominion Post
Shéhérazade at Alice Tully with Chamber Music Society of NY
Sasha Cooke proved to be right at home in this gorgeous cycle. Hers was a warm, captivating performance that emphasized the dramatic imagery in each of the three songs. [...]Cooke gave an exquisite performance...covering a range of emotion from cheerful innocence to bravura posturing, from religious devotion to hearty celebration.
July 1, 2010
Arlo McKinnon, Opera News
Jeremiah Symphony with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
The Lamentation, the final movement, was also a revelation, as it introduced us to mezzo Sasha Cooke. This is a big, rich, intensely present voice driven by perceptive musical intelligence. Her singing was beautiful in many ways: as outraged protest, as utter despair, and as a lonely voice crying out amid the aftermath of disaster.
September 26, 2009
Tom Strini, Third Coast Digest
Doctor Atomic at the Metropolitan Opera
New to ‘Atomic’ is the gifted young mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, as Kitty Oppenheimer. Perhaps because she had no nostalgia for the old production, she was able to create a fresh, vital portrayal, bringing a luminous tone, a generously supported musical line, a keen sense of verbal nuance, and a flair for seduction. Even if the Oppenheimers’ bedroom came out looking oddly like a suite in an Ian Schrager hotel, their duet emerged as the most psychologically cogent scene of the night—a billowing of sensual delirium into white-knuckle reality.
October 27, 2008
Alex Ross, The New Yorker