Image © OmTown Music 2002
Interview and Photos
(02 August 2002) Joining forces with producer Frank Fitzpatrick and DJ Mark Raskin,
the classically trained opera singer, Sasha Lazard has released her thematic debut
album, The Myth of Red (OmTown Music (USA), 2002). As explained in
album's liner notes, Sasha believes that the color red represents various
traits of the female spirit, among other things.
The ear-catching opener "Stabat Mater IXXI" is derived from Baroque composer
Pergolesi's work of the same name. Sasha provides both foreground and harmony
vocals that intertwine passionately with snake-charmer percussion, cello, and
subtle synthetic textures. The end-result is a captivatingly romantic
Another treat is the funked-up version of Caccini's "Ave Maria" entitled "Ode
to Innocence." This same melody was given a choral treatment by Paul Schwartz on
the Aria 2 (review) album. Sasha's music video of the track (see interview for further comments) filmed in exotic surroundings is visually enticing and illustrates her sensually graceful and dance-oriented movements.
A vocally augmented choir opens with a haunting refrain on Sasha's version.
Guest vocalist E-Day adds interesting and effective ethnic-based chants to the
Tracks like the techno/salsa flavored "Forbidden Dance" and "Battle of
Erishkigal" (featuring DJ Spooky) move into the trance and dance realm and
provide lively breaks throughout the album. Other pieces like the
Chopin-influenced "Romance" are actually more traditional in style but
nonetheless performed by Sasha with panache and sensitivity.
David Shamban--who extracts the most luminous sounds from the cello--adds a
lush texture to the divine and appropriately-titled electronica track "Angeli."
Sasha's performance of the "Princess Mononoke Theme Song" is simply heart-rending.
Although the track is only 1:33, the pristine power of Sasha's voice is on
full display demonstrating her formidable talent as a singer. It is difficult
not to be awed by the tonal clarity and vibrancy of Sasha's vocals which are
backed on this track by gentle strings.
Fans of Emma Shaplin (feature),
Sarah Brightman (La Luna review,
Aria, and Operatica will find much to
appreciate in The Myth of Red. Sasha is an expert and gifted chanteuse, without
doubt. Her selection and adaptation of established classical works is indicative
of an artistic ability to marry past and present in creative ways. With such a
promising debut, Sasha may very well be the next international classical-crossover
superstar to reign in the charts.--Justin Elswick
Click on the link to read our indepth interview with Sasha Lazard.
Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album
Clearly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, The Myth of Red is a must