Opera Reviews

Making Babylon great again: DiDonato shines in musically spectacular Semiramide in Munich

Bachtrack
by Laura Servidei

“Joyce DiDonato is making her role debut as Semiramide in this production. It was written for Isabella Colbran, an alto with great extension, but has been hijacked by coloratura sopranos since the Rossini Renaissance. Today, it sounds strange to hear a mezzo singing it. Her interpretation was extremely dramatic and intense. Hers is a troubled, broken queen, whose old crime (her husband’s murder) has marked her whole existence. She hopes against all odds to find happiness by marrying the young warrior Arsace, only to be hurled into the middle of a Freudian nightmare (Arsace turns out to be her son). Her vocal performance was brilliant, marked by a wonderful legato and sparkling coloratura – every asset of a true bel canto artist … her performance was astounding.”

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

~ Joyce DiDonato