Friday, October 1 – For Joyce DiDonato, today’s “most user-friendly diva” (Opera News), the new season has started with a bang. Just days before collecting her 2010 Echo Klassik “Singer of the Year” Award, she’s also been announced as the winner of two prestigious 2010 Gramophone Awards: “Artist of the Year” and “Recital of the Year.” The news came today at the Gramophone Awards ceremony in London, along with the details of 13 other highly coveted Gramophone Awards, the classical record industry’s most distinguished honors.
“DiDonato’s voice is at present nothing less than 24-carat gold.”– Times (London)
In the “Artist” category, pitted against a veritable who’s who of classical music, DiDonato beat out such fellow nominees as Plácido Domingo, Lang Lang, Kent Nagano, Antonio Pappano, and Jordi Savall. Unlike other Gramophone Awards, “Artist of the Year” is chosen by the public, with radio listeners and Gramophone readers voting for the finalist who has had the biggest impact on the classical scene in the past twelve months. DiDonato’s win should come as no surprise, for her 2009-10 season was an especially full and successful one, including her acclaimed Los Angeles Opera company debut in Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, when she “stole a show that was hard to steal” (Los Angeles Times), and her Paris Opera role debut as Elena in La donna del lago, which the Financial Times pronounced “simply the best singing…heard in years.”
In the “Recital” bracket, DiDonato’s recent album of Rossini arias – Colbran, the Muse, an instant bestseller for Virgin Classics – overcame offerings from Anne Sofie von Otter and Jonas Kaufmann. This was by no means the disc’s first honor; Opera magazine, marveling that “it’s difficult to imagine a more satisfying Rossini recital,” voted Colbran “Disc of the Month,” while Opera Now, selecting it as the “Editor’s Choice,” judged that “musically and dramatically, the disc [was] perfection.” Time Out New York agreed, advising: “Even if your shelves groan with great Rossini aria discs, you need this one – today’s gold standard.”
To a room of journalists, record industry executives and artists, Joyce Didonato said: “The only reason anyone in this room does what they do is because they believe in the power of music. The power of music is unquestionable. In today’s world it is needed more than ever.” She also gave special thanks to all of the Gramophone readers who “clicked” for her via Facebook, Twitter and gramophone.co.uk.
After collecting her German Echo Klassik Award in a televised concert in Essen on October 17, DiDonato takes her signature interpretation of Rossini’s Rosina to Berlin’s Deutsche Oper, where she makes her house debut.