Grammy-Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” (The 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 2017-2018 season Ms. Cooke will sing the title role in the world premiere of Marnie by Nico Muhly at the English National Opera. She will sing Goffredo in a concert version of Handel’s Rinaldo alongside The English Concert conducted by Harry Bicket with performances at Carnegie Hall, the Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), and Barbican Centre. Other concert engagements will include Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the San Francisco Symphony and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the London Symphony Orchestra, both conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg conducted by Matthias Pintscher; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” with the Reykjavik Arts Festival under the baton of Osmo Vänskä; Mary in Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with both the Melbourne Symphony, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin conducted by Robin Ticciati; Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah” with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic conducted by Edo de Waart; Duruflé’s Requiem with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden; Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra; and a perfpormance featuring composers Respighi and Jalbert with Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal conducted by Cristian Macerlaru. Ms. Cooke will return to a role she created, Hannah after, in Laura Kaminsky’s opera As One, both at Hawaii Opera Theatre and in concert with the Chautauqua Opera Company, and will also offer a concert of Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Finally, she will give a series of solo recitals at the Milton Academy in Massachusetts, the Cosmos Club in Washington DC, and Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. In addition, she will perform joint recitals with guitarist Jason Vieaux at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in California and the Cleveland Chamber Music Society.
Ms. Cooke bookended her 2016-2017 season with opera performances of Hänsel und Gretel at the Seattle Opera and a world premiere by composer Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell titled The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at The Santa Fe Opera. Her orchestral engagements included the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Riccardo Muti leading Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible; Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah” with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin at Carnegie Hall; Mahler’s Das Knaben Wunderhorn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Gustavo Dudamel; a set of concerts with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas that included a semi-staged production of Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied paired with the composer’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen; Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette and Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert; and Verdi’s Requiem with the Houston Grand Opera under Patrick Summers. Her season also featured performances with the Atlanta Symphony for Christopher Theofanidis’s Creation/Creator conducted by Robert Spano, the Milwaukee Symphony for Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Edo de Waart, Duruflé’s Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Matthew Halls and also with the National Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, the Minnesota Orchestra to both sing and record Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” conducted by Osmo Vänskä, with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra performing a concert of Handel, Mahler, and Mozart, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Krzysztof Urbański and the Indianapolis Symphony, the Oregon Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem under Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and la damnation de Faust by Berlioz with both the Eugene Symphony and Aspen Festival Orchestra.
Ms. Cooke’s past seasons have included performances with such wide-ranging conductors as James Levine, Bernard Haitink, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Mark Elder, Pinchas Zukerman, Gerard Schwarz, Riccardo Frizza, Jeffrey Kahane, Trevor Pinnock, Robert Spano, Tugan Sokhiev, Andrés Orozco-Entrada, and Lucovic Morlot. Previous orchestral engagements have brought her to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Hong Kong Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, The Met Chamber Ensemble, Melbourne Symphony, MDR Orchestra, I Musici de Montreal, Colorado Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Cooke has performed with opera companies around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, and The Israeli Opera. Previous festival appearances have included 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, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Cooke has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Royal Concertgebouw, Palau de la Música de València, Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, Theater an der Wien, Alice Tully Hall, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. 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. On DVD, Ms. Cooke can be seen in a new production of Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera and the Grammy-Award-winning production of Doctor Atomic under conductor Alan Gilbert. Ms. Cooke’s recordings can be found on the Hyperion, Naxos, Bridge Records, Yarlung, GPR Records, and Sono Luminus labels.
A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, Sasha Cooke also attended the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, Wolf Trap Foundation, Marlboro Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and the Seattle and Central City operas’ Young Artist Training programs.