Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” (New York Times) and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” (Opera News). Ms. Cooke is sought after by the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music.
In the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Cooke returns to the Metropolitan Opera both for her role debut as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, under the baton of James Gaffigan, and as Eduige in Rodelinda, under the baton of Harry Bicket. On the concert stage, she joins the Minnesota Orchestra for Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and subsequently for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the latter conducted by Osmo Vänskä. She also joins the Houston Symphony for Nadia Boulanger’s Faust et Hélène, led by Fabien Gabel, and again for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection, led by Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Additionally, she performs Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer, Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict with the Festival de la Côte Saint-André, led by John Nelson, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Oregon Symphony, Jake Heggie’s The Work at Hand and Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by Gemma New, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the New World Symphony, and a holiday concert with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Finally, she gives a solo recital at the Tucson Desert Song Festival, joined by pianist Myra Huang, where she premieres a new work by Jennifer Higdon.
This season also marks the release of Ms. Cooke’s new CD, entitled how do I find you, on the Pentatone label. The recording, which features songs by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli and Jimmy Lopez, among others, is intended as a tribute to both the struggles and hopes of artists that have been wrought by the pandemic. All 17 songs were written in 2020. Ms. Cooke performs the world premiere on January 30, 2022, as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series, before giving subsequent recitals at the Shriver Hall Concert Series and elsewhere, with pianist Kirill Kuzmin.Read more
In the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Cooke sang a solo recital at Houston Grand Opera with pianist Kirill Kuzmin, performed Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Vasily Petrenko and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and joined the Cincinnati May Festival for a performance of Copland’s Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson. She also made her debut at Bard SummerScape as Genièvre in Chausson’s Le roi Arthus, sang Jan Arnold in a new recording of Joby Talbot’s Everest with Opera Parallèle, and returned to Dallas Opera for a Pops Concert. Previously scheduled engagements included appearances at the Metropolitan Opera as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, at Dallas Opera as Sylvie in the world premiere of Talbot’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and at San Francisco Opera as Offred in Poul Ruder’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Concert performances were to include Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Orchestre National de France under the direction of Trevor Pinnock, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Minnesota Orchestra and music director Osmo Vänskä, and a duo recital tour alongside soprano Susanna Phillips.
In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Cooke returned to the San Francisco Opera to reprise the title role in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and was scheduled to perform Laurene Jobs in Mason Bates’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, a role she created in 2017 at Santa Fe Opera. Her orchestral appearances included Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest under conductor James Gaffigan, Mahler’s Das klagende Lied and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht with the Houston Symphony under music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Meditations on Rilke with the Cleveland Orchestra under composer and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and a concert version of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with the Chicago Symphony under the baton of Riccardo Muti. Other scheduled appearances included reuniting with Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic for concerts of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection at David Geffen Hall (New York), Barbican Hall (London), and The Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), as well as Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Myung-Whun Chung at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Manfred Honneck as well as the Atlanta Symphony under Robert Spano, both in Atlanta and on tour at Carnegie Hall in New York. Ms. Cooke also undertook a residency with the San Francisco Symphony that encompassed concerts with the orchestra, educational events, chamber music performances, and a solo recital in Davies Hall. In recital, she returned to London’s Wigmore Hall with pianist Malcolm Martineau for songs of Brahms and Schumann, and performed at New York’s 92nd Street Y and the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C., alongside pianist Julius Drake featuring Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und –leben and Zwölf Gedichte nach Justinus Kerner. Finally, Ms. Cooke sang the world premiere of Jake Heggie/Gene Scheer’s Violins of Hope with violinist Daniel Hope for Music at Kohl Mansion in California, and was scheduled to perform a solo recital of songs by Fauré, Debussy, Berlioz, Schumann, and Beethoven, at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Ms. Cooke has performed with opera companies worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Israeli Opera, and English National Opera. During her career, she has been engaged by over 70 orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, New Zealand Symphony, Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal, New World Symphony, under leading conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Edo de Waart, Trevor Pinnock, Harry Bicket, Pinchas Zukerman, Gerard Schwarz, Riccardo Frizza, Sir Mark Elder, and Krzysztof Urbański. Ms. Cooke has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Palau de la Música de València, Hollywood Bowl, Theater an der Wien, Alice Tully Hall, Auditorio Nacional de Música, Elbphilharmonie, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Previous festival appearances have included the Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York Festival of Song, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. A devoted interpreter of new music, Ms. Cooke has premiered works by Mark Adamo, Mason Bates, William Bolcom, Pierre Jalbert, Laura Kaminsky, Lowell Liebermann, Nico Muhly, John Musto, Marc Neikrug, Kevin Puts, Augusta Read Thomas, and Joby Talbot.
As a dedicated recitalist, Ms. Cooke was presented by Young Concert Artists in her widely acclaimed New York and Washington debuts at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and the Kennedy Center. She has also appeared in recital at Alice Tully Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center and the 92nd Street Y. Her recordings can be found on the Hyperion, BIS, Chandos, Pentatone, Naxos, Bridge Records, Yarlung, GPR Records, and Sono Luminus labels. Most recently she appears on recordings including Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer on Pentatone, L’enfance du Christ with Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony on Chandos, Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs on Pentatone which won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra on BIS, Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the San Francisco Symphony with won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium and Sasha Cooke LIVE, a collection of her performances at the Music@Menlo chamber music festival released on their label.
Sasha Cooke is a graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School. She also attended the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, Wolf Trap Foundation, Marlboro Music Festival, Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and Seattle Opera and Central City Opera’s Young Artist Training Programs.
On Sunday, January 30, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke will perform the world premiere of her new album, how do I find you (Pentatone), in recital with pianist Kirill Kuzmin at the San Francisco Symphony. The album, available Friday, January 28, features seventeen original...
Baritone Norman Garrett, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and tenor Matthew White star in Ernest Chausson’s rarely performed opera Le roi Arthus at Bard SummerScape. The new production, directed by Louisa Proske, premieres on July 25 and runs through August 1. Garrett takes...
IMG Artists extends a huge congratulations to our winners at the 61st annual GRAMMY® Award ceremony last night. Soweto Gospel Choir won their third GRAMMY® Award in the Best World Music Album category for Freedom, whilst vocalists Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano) and...
“… experiencing Mahler’s “Songs of a Wayfarer” interpreted by a charismatic performer with a pure and powerful voice was well worth braving the first wintry night of the season. Cooke displayed richness throughout her ample range and an animated, theatrical approach to creating a character for the four Mahler songs, widely regarded as the first song cycle written for orchestra…. It was some masterful Mahler.”
Rob Hubbard, Minneapolis Tribune, November 2021
“Sasha Cooke, as Genièvre, phrased her text with bequilling skill, unleashing her wide-ranging, sensuously cushioned mezzo with dynamic acumen.”
David Shengold, Opera News, October 2021
“Sasha Cooke’s mezzo-soprano was exquisitely rounded and ensured that Goffredo’s arias were delivered with a certain sumptuousness and complete sense of ease.”
Rinaldo, The English Concert, March 2018
“Mezzo-soprano, Sasha Cooke’s voice was luxurious, full-bodied and round, so powerful that at times when the electro-acoustic orchestra was at a fortissimo level, she could still be heard over the group. She sensitively portrayed Laurene, Jobs’ gentle, comforting influence.”
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Santa Fe Opera, July 2017
“The splendid mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke brought dark colorings and penetrating richness to her solos.”
“The best thing about this performance [by the San Francisco Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall in London] was Sasha Cooke, the American mezzo whose resonant tone and intelligent projection raised the fourth movement [of Mahler’s Third Symphony] to a different level.”