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

Download biography (PDF)  160 words | 400 words

Winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato entrances audiences and critics alike 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 as both a performer and a fierce arts advocate, gaining international prominence in operas by Rossini, Handel and Mozart, as well as through her wide-ranging, acclaimed discography. Her signature parts include the bel canto roles of Rossini, leading the Financial Times to declare her Elena La Donna del Lago, ‘simply the best singing I’ve heard in years’.

Much in demand on the concert and recital circuit, DiDonato holds residencies this season at both the Carnegie Hall, New York and the Barbican Centre, London. Recently she completed an acclaimed recital tour of South America, and has appeared in concert and recital in Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Toulouse, Mexico City and Aspen, in addition to appearing as guest singer at the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

In opera she appeared last season as Cendrillon at the Liceu Barcelona, Sesto La Clemenza di Tito at the Lyric Opera Chicago, Angelina La Cenerentola at the Metropolitan Opera, and the title role of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at the Royal Opera House. Highlights this season include Romeo I Capuleti e i Montecchi in her native Kansas City, Elena La donna del lago at the Metropolitan Opera, Maria Stuarda in Barcelona, the title role of Alcina with the English Concert, and Marguerite La damnation de Faust with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle.

An exclusive recording artist with Erato/Warner Classics, DiDonato’s most recent recording, Stella di Napoli, is 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, a German Echo Klassik Award as Female Singer of the Year, and an induction into the Gramophone Hall of Fame.

 

Joyce DiDonato is represented by Askonas Holt.
September 2014 / 400 words. 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.

Bring that innocent, childlike sense of wonder to your craft, and do whatever you need to find that truth again. It will continually teach you how to be present, how to be alive, and how to let go. Therein lies not only your artistic freedom, but your personal freedom as well!

~ Joyce DiDonato