The fast-rising mezzo-soprano SASHA COOKE has been acclaimed for opera roles, as soloist with orchestra, as well as in song recitals. Her 2009-10 season includes return engagements with the San Francisco Symphony singing Stravinsky's Pulcinella and Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Ete with conductor Tilson Thomas, and the title role in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe with conductor George Manahan. She also sings the role of Meg in Falstaff with the Seattle Opera and the role of Medea in Giasone with the Chicago Opera Theater. Ms. Cooke performs in song recitals at the Lied Center of Kansas, for the Marilyn Horne Foundation (NY), SummerFest in La Jolla (CA), the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival (NY), with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Festival of Song, and at the Cosmos Club in Washington DC. Other engagements include Ms. Cooke’s appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Milwaukee, Colorado, Seattle, Modesto, Kansas City, San Diego, and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, and with the Aspen Festival Orchestra under the direction of David Zinman.
Last season, Ms. Cooke was presented by Young Concert Artists at Lincoln Center in Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Ete with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s under Giancarlo Guerrero, and starred at the Metropolitan Opera in the premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, in the role of Kitty Oppenheimer, a part which she subsequently performed with the English National Opera in her European debut. She sang Handel’s Messiah with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall and Bernstein’s Opening Prayer with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. She sang the role of Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Evgeny Onegin with the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and participated in the 2009 Spoleto USA Festival and the 2008 Marlboro Chamber Music Festival.
As a First Prize winner of the 2007 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Ms. Cooke holds the Lindemann Vocal Chair of YCA. She gave acclaimed debut recitals presented by the Young Concert Artists Series at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater and at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
Ms. Cooke performed with the Wolf Trap Opera Company in summer 2007, with the National Symphony Orchestra as Mercedes in a concert performance of Bizet’s Carmen, and as Aloes in Chabrier’s L’Étoile. Other recent notable appearances have included the premieres of Bastianello by John Musto and William Bolcom’s Lucrezia with the New York Festival of Song, a recital at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, a performance at the Bard Music Festival, Chausson's Poème de l'amour et de la mer at the Miller Theater, for the Marilyn Horne Foundation’s 2007 Gala at Zankel Hall, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Mozart Academy of San Luis Obispo, and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra (TX). Ms. Cooke appeared as the Composer in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Endimione in Cavalli’s La Calisto at The Juilliard School, Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther and Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Rice University, and Erika in Barber’s Vanessa with Central City Opera.
Ms. Cooke won First Prizes in the Sun Valley Opera Vocal Competition and the Bach Vocal Competition sponsored by the American Bach Society and The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Sasha Cooke earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Rice University and her Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School, where she was a frequently heard in premieres with the New Juilliard Ensemble. Ms. Cooke has also attended the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, and Central City Opera’s Young Artist Training Program. Ms. Cooke is a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera.