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Queen of Opera

BBC Music | by Neil Fisher
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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.

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RT @fathomevents: .@JoyceDiDonato returns to cinemas in a role she was made for, the demanding title role in La Donna del Lago on 3/14. htt…

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We need you to remind us what empathy is by taking us deep into the hearts of those who are, God forbid, different than us – so that we can recapture the hope of not only living in peace with each other, but THRIVING together in a vibrant way where each of us grows in wonder and joy.

~ Joyce DiDonato