Sasha Cooke, Elsa Dreisig & Sidney Outlaw Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This past week offered a wealth of releases from rising stars, established singers, and established ensembles. There is an intriguing solo album of new composers and another dedicated to Mozart.

Here is a look at this week’s new releases.

From Rags to Riches: 100 Years of American Song 

The New York Festival of Song releases the new album on its new in-house label, NYFOS Records. The label’s debut album features the acclaimed voices of mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and tenor William Burden, together with Steven Blier, Artistic Director of the NYFOS who accompanies Blythe and Burden, on piano in works spanning art song, musical theater, jazz, and opera. The album was recorded from a live concert recording at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York on March 23, 2000.

How do I find you

PENTATONE releases “How do I find you,” a collection of words and music created in 2020, portraying the gamut of human experiences during the ongoing pandemic. Acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke commissioned gifted composers in their 40s and younger, offering them carte blanche to create what spoke most to them during this time.

In a statement, Cooke noted, “When cancellation after cancellation was coming in, I felt an utter loss of identity. This project provided me with a sense of purpose and hope – a way to orient myself through the haze of so much change and uncertainty. From the moment I called the first composer, it felt as if a light suddenly shone and a piece of myself was returned to me.”

Mozart x 3

Erato releases Elsa Dreisig’s latest album, which pays tribute to Mozart. The record is devoted entirely to arias from his operas and reflects a program constructed around the three masterpieces composed to libretti written by Lorenzo Da Ponte: “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” and “Così fan tutte.”

Dreisig also sings arias allocated to three different characters in each of these operas. The total of nine ‘Da Ponte arias’ is complemented by three arias from “La clemenza di Tito,” “Idomeneo,” and “Lucio Silla.” Accompanying Elsa Dreisig is the Kammerorchester Basel, conducted by Louis Langrée.


Lexicon Classics releases its very first album “LAMENT.” The release stars Sidney Outlaw and Warren Jones in a debut that was captured live at the Brevard Music Center, and features works by Ricky Ian Gordon, Robert Owens, Dorothy Rudd Moore Harry T. Burleigh, and the words of Langston Hughes.

The album marks the first recording captured in the newly renovated Parker Hall in Brevard and was produced and mixed by Jonathan Estabrooks.


Animalia Music is set to release “Entry” on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon and Deezer. The album features the full score from the soon-to-be-released short film, which was developed in collaboration with indigenous artists based in Ogaa Po Ogeh — the occupied Tewa territory known as Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Commissioned by Long Beach Opera, “Entry” features original music created by Tone Ranger featuring soprano Anna Schubert and a libretto/poetry by Birds’ Nest Family, all of whom collaborated on the recording project. Entry is directed by actor and filmmaker Raviv Ullman. The opera film will premiere in 2022 on a date to be announced.


Leonardo García Alarcón leads his Millenium Orchestra, the Choeur de Chambre de Namur, and a multinational cast in Händel’s very operatic Greek-mythological oratorio. The new recording is released by Ricercar.


Trinidad-born soprano Jeanine De Bique presents a fascinating collection of women—Cleopatra,  Agrippina, Alcina, Deidamia, Rodelinda—as portrayed by Handel. The album also includes music by Telemann, Graun, Broschi, and Manna and De Bique is accompanied by Luca Quintaville leading the Concerto Köln. Berlin Classics releases the new album.

Only An Octave Apart

Anthony Roth Costanzo and Justin Vivian Bond team up for a new album in which they express their queer identities through unique interpretations of classical music, pop music, and points of intersection between the two. Decca Gold releases the new album.


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