Features

Queen of Opera

BBC Music | by Neil Fisher
View PDF 

From Ancient Egypt to Tudor England, history’s most capricious yet captivating royal heroines are the perfect challenge for Joyce DiDonato, opera’s ruling mezzo-soprano, says Neil Fisher.

 Exactly how do you call someone a vile bastard?  Joyce DiDonato is still thinking about the best way to deliver one of opera’s most infamous put-downs – spat out by the heroine of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart) in her great confrontation with Queen Elizabeth I – when we meet in the American mezzo-soprano’s hotel in London’s West End.  As the china clinks and the Earl Grey is poured, DiDonato warms to her theme.  ‘I could be a little dirty…’ she suggests, conspiratorially, ‘but Maria is a queen and she’s rising to the occasion when she says that’.  Regal hauteur, DiDonato decides, will prevail.  At least until Mary Queen of Scots, as she must, loses her head entirely.

Leave a Comment

Audio Player

Newsletter

Twitter

3 hours ago

RT @MusiksLight: @roseandfriends @JoyceDiDonato She was extraordinary and broke our hearts all over again. Merry Christmas to you as well!

5 hours ago

RT @BBCRadio3: @JoyceDiDonato @FollowWestwood is currently singing your praises on #privatepassions #alcina #sorceressdress

5 hours ago

RT @greciagaldiaz: Practice doodle based on @JoyceDiDonato 's incredible transforming dress http://t.co/URXbUzKr9T

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato

Instagram

Facebook

Flickr

There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato