Artist Of The Week: Sasha Cooke Creates The Role Of ‘Marnie’

By Francisco Salazar

Sasha Cooke is one the great exponents of  modern music, creating some of the most memorable interpretations of 21st-century music in operas like “As One,” “Doctor Atomic,” “Everest,” and “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.”

This week she creates another role as the iconic Marnie in Nico Muhly’s new work based on the acclaimed novel by Winston Graham at the English National Opera. The role will provide many facets for Cooke not just as a singer but as an actress as she portrays a Daughter, a Liar, Wife, and a Thief.

Cooke has been hailed by critics for her dramatic skills. Her voice has been described as “luxuriant,” “warm,” “engaging” and “richly textured.”

Throughout her career, Cooke has been featured with symphony orchestras around the world including Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Hong Kong, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Leipzig, Los Angeles, Louisiana, Milwaukee, New York, New Zealand, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Tokyo, Orpheus, St. Paul and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras among others. She has also attended the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, the Wolf Trap Foundation, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and Central City Opera’s Young Artist Training Programs.


For those not familiar with the work Cooke, the mezzo-soprano has numerous recordings in varying repertoire. For those interested in a more classical feel, Cooke has an album of Liszt songs on Hyperion as well as an album filled with music by Chausson, Handel, Adams, and Mahler.

For interested in her more contemporary outings, Cooke is featured on Xavier’s Montsalvatge’s “Madrigal” album for Naxos and on the Grammy Award-winning DVD of “Doctor Atomic” from the Metropolitan Opera. She also featured in William Bolcom’s “Lucrezia” on Bridge Records.


Artist of the WeekNews