Nico Muhly’s new opera Marnie, with Grammy award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke starring in the title role, had its world premiere at the London Coliseum on 18th November, warmly and diligently conducted by Martyn Brabbins on his debut as ENO music director.

The central character of Marnie makes perfect material for an opera. Traumatised by an incident in her childhood, she lies and steals her way through life, changing identities each time the going gets tough – a psychological maze.

The New York Times commends Sasha Cooke’s “warmth and a barely concealed backbone of steel” in her voice, which “projects ruefulness and the tiniest touch of humor.”

The “gorgeous” and “compelling actor” (The Guardian), Sasha Cooke “could scarcely have been more impressive” according to The Times.

For the Financial Times, Richard Fairman writes, “Sasha Cooke makes a fine Marnie, sustaining a role that needs huge charisma….See it, be touched by it, come out thinking about it.”

And writing for Broadway World, Aliya Al-Hassan writes:

“Grammy Award-winning mezzo Sasha Cooke sings the title role; she has crystal clarity to her voice, which is especially rich in the lower register. She can also act, which is not always a given. Cooke brings a tricky mixture of repression and emotional distress to the role of a damaged woman who is effectively a liar, a thief and a flawed heroine.”