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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Renowned mezzo-soprano brings performance to UALR

Renowned American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke will open UALR’s Artspree season at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in the UALR Fine Arts Building.

Sasha Cooke

Photo courtsey Rikki Cooke

She will also teach a masterclass to UALR students at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16.

Cooke, who performed as Kitty Oppenheimer in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams’s “Doctor Atomic,” earned praise from The New Yorker for her “fresh, vital portrayal … keen sense of verbal nuance, and a flair for seduction.”

The DVD release of the opera won the 2012 Grammy Award® for Best Opera Recording.

Cooke is a graduate of Rice University and the Juilliard School. She also attended the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, the Wolf Trap Foundation, the Marlboro Music Festival, and Central City Opera’s Young Artist Training Program.

She has performed in venues from Berlin to Bonn and San Francisco to Dallas. A dedicated recitalist, Cooke was presented by Young Concert Artists in her widely acclaimed New York and Washington debuts at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and at the Kennedy Center.

Last year, she opened the Hollywood Bowl’s summer season in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Leonard Slatkin and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and appeared at Music@Menlo and the RoundTop Festival.

Cooke has also appeared in the closing concerts of the Aspen Music Festival and the Mostly Mozart Festival, with Robert Spano in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and with Louis Langrée in Beethoven’s Mass in C, respectively.

In 2010, she was awarded first place and the American Prize in the José Iturbi International Music Competition, top prize in the Gerda Lissner Competition, and the Kennedy Center’s Marian Anderson Award.

Tickets are free for UALR students. For individual general admission, tickets are $15 and $10 for non-UALR students. Balcony tickets are free for UALR faculty and staff.

To purchase tickets, call the UALR Music Department Box Office at 501.569.8993.

For general information about Artspree, contact Naoki Hakutani, assistant professor of music, at 501.683.7230.