Opera News: Sasha Cooke “If You Love for Beauty”

The Colburn Orchestra, Gilad. Works by Adams, Chausson, Handel and Mahler. Texts in French, Italian, German and English. Yarlung Records YAR14148 Mezzo Sasha Cooke made a striking impression as Kitty, the wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer, in the Met premiere of Doctor Atomic five seasons ago. The high point of her performance was her seductive love duet with Gerald Finley’s Oppenheimer, which included her aria “Am I in Your Light?” Cooke leads with that piece on her excellent debut solo CD, If You Love for Beauty, in which she is sensitively accompanied by Yehuda Gilad and the Colburn Orchestra. Cooke’s attractive, erotic stage presence struck plenty of sparks in Doctor Atomic, but without question she also delivers the vocal goods. She possesses a firm, fruity mezzo, straight-toned in quality, which allows the listener to luxuriate in her unerring sense of pitch. And she has a strong yet subtle interpretive ability, Continue Reading →

Classics Today Review: “Sasha Cooke’s Captivating Orchestral Songs”

Yarlung| Amazon | NativeDSD | HDTracks | iTunes  Excerpts from a review on Classics Today of Sasha Cooke — “If You Love for Beauty” — by David Vernier American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke… has a voice of substance, lustrous and silver-toned, especially rich and vibrant in the lower register, with the assured technique of one who has the goods and just knows what to do with her gift…. She characterizes the mood, various colors, and moments of rising intensity, or more “dreamy” or reflective passages in the Chausson Poème particularly well, expertly abbetted on all counts by a very fine orchestra and its sensitive music director Yehuda Gilad. Cooke’s voice has the size and expressive range to sustain focus on and interest in whatever she is doing, in true collaboration with an orchestra that’s sizable and exceptionally colorful in its own right. Throughout the Chausson, and also in the Mahler (excellent solo horn and Continue Reading →