Operatic Tendencies

Sasha Lazard

Princess Mononoke" "The Incubus" "Battle of Erishkigal" Cycles from a Wagnerian opera? Chapters of a far-flung mythology? Hardly. These are but a handful of the songs found on singer Sasha Lazard's first album, The Myth of Red, that debuts an May 7. Forget pop fluff: Opera and myth play dominant roles in Lazard's musicology: "My music? Operatic, classical melodies fused with a tribal beat," says the stunning Lazard sitting astride a sofa at the SoHo Grand. "And my album is based on classical arias with a Sumerian tale of lust and rebirth as the storyline." Heavy stuff.

Lazard was born in New York and lived in Paris before studying at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Eventually, she channeled her classical training into new realms, mixing arias with a savvy, streetwise, club-formed sensibility. The result combines Montserrat Caballé and Serge Gainsbourg with the moody influences of bands like Air and Portishead. Take that and add dashes of performance-art theatricalty-dancers, a DJ, maybe an electric cello-and Lazard could be compared with a nascent, operatic counterpart to a Laurie Anderson or a glammed-up Diamanda Galas. Eventually, the singer would like to pair her music with a full-scale orchestra and perform in large theaters. Until then, however, you'll find her developing her name recognition: Singing at the recent Winter Music Conference in Miami and at Bungalow 8, and preparing for her upcoming, eclectic launch party at the Park. "There will be a boys' choir," Lazard says, "with two dancers moving in the fluid style of Cirque du Soled, an electric cello, a percussionist, and a DJ." And when she's not developing grand-scale, Metworthy performances, where can you find this Chelsea resident? "I'm lazy," she says, smiling. "I'm always at Bottino [restaurant], which is just around the comer. Or hanging out. Usually alloe's Pub." --J. OLIVER NIXON