Sasha Cooke

Mezzo-Soprano

Biography

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, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection, led by Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by Juraj Valčuha. 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.

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Recent News

Sasha Cooke Sings World Premiere Recital at the San Francisco Symphony

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...

Reviews

“Cooke’s Cherubino was equally nimble and fleet-footed, except when pinned to the ground by Van Horn’s Figaro. Cooke was excellent as the over-sexed teenage page that had clearly learned a trick or two from the Count, exhibiting more cockiness than awkwardness in the young man’s relentless quest for romance. With a plummier voice than many a mezzo-soprano who assays the role, Cooke dashed off an impressive, fleet-footed ‘Non so piu’ and an ardent ‘Voi che sapete’.”

Le nozze di Figaro, The Metropolitan Opera, April 2022

Rick Perdian

New York Classical Review

“Sasha Cooke did an utterly valid, sonorous and expressive work in the complex part of Eduige. Graceful onstage, she proved a mistress of the style, displaying a pleasing liquid tone. (Then this sentence which I would leave out: Ever attentive to the words, Cooke and Costanzo made more specific use of the Italian text than did their peers.)

Rodelinda, The Metropolitan Opera, March 2022

David Shengold

Opera News

“… 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

“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

David Shengold

Opera News

“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

Sam Smith

Music OMH

“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

Mary Helen Klare

Albuquerque Journal

“The splendid mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke brought dark colorings and penetrating richness to her solos.”

Anthony Tommasini

The New York Times

“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.”

Andrew Clark

Financial Times

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