Until I started to see Sasha in things. Not only is she just the most amazing mezzo soprano, but she is truly a first rate actress. She's so nuanced. I have lots of funny stories from those days we spent as 18 year olds. I'll refrain from telling my favorites so as not to embarrass her here. But I'm so glad we were able to spend time together while we both lived in New York. It was a joy to share in her celebrations with her: from Hansel and Gretel to Dr Atomic to her wedding!
She was so so stunning as Kitty Oppenheimer in Dr Atomic at the Met. (Talk about inspirational! The lead in a new opera at the Met at 26!) She was the most alive. She was the only splash of color-- magenta against so many browns and earth tones-- and she was the sensual heart of a piece of music about science and horror (that, to my taste, never built to anything). Sadly, there's not much video of just her from Dr Atomic. But these videos will give you the idea. Many criticized Penny Woolcock's staging, but I found it (along with Sasha) to be the most appealing parts of the show.
For a full idea of her loveliness, the Kennedy Center has her whole concert, she sings a song from our bullfighter musical right here, and here is her "Sandman" Aria from Hansel & Gretel that aired on PBS (and on the big screen!) It was and still is a joy. The details!