Biography

“The staggering, joyful artistry of Joyce DiDonato reminds us that in any generation there are a few giants. Joyce is not only a great, brave and inspiring artist – one of the finest singers of our time- but she is also a transformative presence in the arts. Those who know her repertoire are in awe of her gifts, and those who know nothing of it are instantly engaged. Joyce sings and the world is suddenly brighter. She compels us to listen actively, to hear things anew.”

– Jake Heggie, Gramophone

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“The staggering, joyful artistry of Joyce DiDonato reminds us that in any generation there are a few giants. Joyce is not only a great, brave and inspiring artist – one of the finest singers of our time- but she is also a transformative presence in the arts. Those who know her repertoire are in awe of her gifts, and those who know nothing of it are instantly engaged. Joyce sings and the world is suddenly brighter. She compels us to listen actively, to hear things anew.”
Jake Heggie, Gramophone

 

Winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato entrances audiences across the globe, and has been proclaimed “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation” by the New Yorker. With a voice “nothing less than 24-carat gold” according to the Times, DiDonato has soared to the top of the industry both as a performer and a fierce advocate for the arts, gaining international prominence in operas by Handel and Mozart, as well as through her wide-ranging, acclaimed discography. She is also widely acclaimed for the bel canto roles of Rossini and Donizetti – the Financial Times judging her recent performances as Elena in La donna del Lago as “simply the best singing I’ve heard in years”.

Much in demand on the concert and recital circuit she has recently held residencies at Carnegie Hall and at London’s Barbican Centre, toured extensively in South America, Europe and Asia and appeared as guest soloist at the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. Recent highlights in opera have included the title role in Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera, for The Royal Opera and at the Liceu in Barcelona; the title role in Alcina on tour with the English Concert and Harry Bicket and Marguerite La damnation de Faust with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle.

DiDonato’s 2015/16 plans include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with The Royal Opera on tour to Japan, her stage debut as Charlotte in Werther for The Royal Opera, Arden Scott in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Great Scott at the Dallas Opera and a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Elena in La donna del lago.

An exclusive recording artist with Erato/Warner Classics, DiDonato’s latest recording – ‘Tony & Joyce’ Live at Wigmore Hall – has been selected as “le choix de France Musique”. Other recordings include Stella di Napoli, a sumptuous bel canto banquet including little-known gems alongside music by Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti. Her Grammy-Award-winning recording Diva Divo comprises arias by male and female characters, celebrating the rich dramatic world of the mezzo-soprano. The following recording Drama Queens was exceptionally well received, both on disc and on several international tours. A retrospective of her first ten years of recordings entitled ReJoyce! was released last year. Other honours include the Gramophone Artist of the Year and Recital of the Year awards, three German Echo Klassik Awards as Female Singer of the Year, and an induction into the Gramophone Hall of Fame.

 

Joyce DiDonato is represented by Askonas Holt.
September 2015.  Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.

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Dedicating Romeo

Tonight is the opening of “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” here in Zurich. It is a role that I feel and love very deeply, and the opportunity to bring him to life, set to Bellini’s exquisitely well crafted vocal lines, fills me with tremendous gratitude. (I’ve written about my passion for him before.)

It tells the familiar story of Romeo and Juliet: the story we know well, masterfully told by Shakespeare, read aloud in countless sophomore literature classes, endlessly danced to (by yours truly, at least) in Bernstein’s version, retold and remade in numerous cultures and epochs – always breaking our hearts in the end.

Bellini’s version hails from later Italian sources, and as the title indicates, throws the emphasis squarely on the shoulders of these two warring families. This is undeniably an opera about war. Here there is no love duet between the two: they fight in every scene, even in death, never finding peace – even as harmonious thirds in the music ache for them to find each other. After the deaths, the warring families rush the stage and we see how the cycle will inevitably continue.

Why is this on my mind today?

Charleston.

Guns.

Racism.

Inequality.

War.

The world needs you. Now, the world may not exactly realize it, but wow, does it need you. It is yearning, starving, dying for you and your healing offer of service through your Art.

~ Joyce DiDonato