About the album

“TOP 10 CLASSICAL DISCS OF 2012” ~ Alex Ross The New Yorker

2012

2012

“A SPLENDID, GENEROUS SURVEY OF REGAL RAGE, HAUTEUR AND HISTRIONICS. ” ~ Time Out NY

Grammy® Award winner Joyce DiDonato joins conductor Alan Curtis and Il complesso barocco for Drama Queens, an electrifying program of royal arias the 17th and 18th centuries, composed by figures as famous as Handel and Vivaldi and as little known as Orlandini and Porta. Innovative as ever, DiDonato now presents a new themed recital: Drama Queens sees DiDonato portraying a parade of royal personages in a diversity of challenging situations and extreme states of mind.

© Josef Fischnaller

“For me, this is my most exciting recording project to date, ” says Joyce DiDonato, “because it is everything I deeply adore about the world of opera. high drama, profound emotion, fearless vocal writing, time-stopping passages, historical significance and real discovery. What more could I ask for?”

 “There are singers who are secure in technique but cautious in expression, there are singers who deliver passion but damage the ears, and then there is Joyce DiDonato, who consistently finds the golden mean. She is a singer not only of flair and power but of intelligence and taste.”  ~ Alex Ross New Yorker November 2012

“DiDonato is in full fine form and throws her magnificent instrument into each of these pieces with a fury matched only by the inherent willfulness of the queens themselves […] simply exquisite” ~ Steven Ritter Audiophile November 2012

“What this album really offers is another chance to revel in a widely loved singer’s gloriously good performances. There might be a wink and a nod in the title […] but DiDonato’s singing is sublime. This woman is a singer down to her bones. She is totally secure at all points of her register — gleaming at the top, rich and grounded at the bottom — with heartfelt lyricism and a musicality that can’t be faked.

DiDonato matches her impeccable technique with keen intelligence and actorly power. She makes us feel the passions and (to borrow two Baroque-and-before expressions) the humors and affections of characters who today can seem cartoonishly drawn.  Only in opera can such furious snarls be delivered so beautifully!

DiDonato’s feat is that she makes us believe.And that’s as great a gift as her voice.” ~ Anastasia Tsioulcas NPR November 2012

“Baroque opera is a primeval emotional landscape populated by terrifying creatures: venomous queens, apoplectic gods, obsessive enemies, suicidal lovers. It is not where you would expect to find a cheery, Kansas-bred mezzo-soprano like Joyce DiDonato. Yet there she is, marching through this territory of extremes, handling its volatile wildlife with aplomb, making murderous emotions safe for human contact.” ~ Justin Davidson emusic January 2013

“Drama Queens: I should think that most of us have come across one or two of those but none who can sing as superbly as Joyce DiDonato. This is a treasure of a disc, for the music, the orchestra, and Joyce DiDonato.”  ~ John T. Hughes International Record Review February 2013

Glorious and magisterial.”  ~ Barry Bassis Epoch Times November 2012

Brilliant […] what a wealth of feeling DiDonato lavishes upon the lament of the empress Octavia […] Numb with disbelief, engraved, despairing, resigned: DiDonato takes listeners on a harrowing journey, deploying her limpid, lit-from within voice like a knife inflicting so many stabs of pain.” ~ Marion Lignana Rosenberg WQXR: Operavore November 2012

Album info

Release date: November 5, 2012
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Studio
Label: Erato
ASIN: B008R9QB18

19 Oct

WELCOME HOME!!!!! https://t.co/T1HiL3Gij0

19 Oct

Oh man, mais j'adore les points d'exclamation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/01SYkgsDXr

18 Oct

The badge had better have glitter ... !!! :-) https://t.co/MsFtJznpbf

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato

#Schubert coaching the day after I die in #Carthage? Don’t mind if I do!!! #itmightallendindeath #butwhatamasterfuljourney #itsnotthedestinationbutthejourney #winterjourney #souljourney #berliozcompletesme #schubertconnectsme

It is the thrill of a lifetime to be able to bring Didon to the stage in Berlioz's Les Troyens. Of course, it is an epic work, grand in every sense of the word; but it is the humanity and the intimacy found in this role that is nearly unbearable to me. If you’re near Vienna, I’d recommend not missing it. If you can’t see it live in the house, there will be a live stream on November 4. 🔗 in bio. Photo: Michael Pöhn / Wiener Staatsoper

#HowToVienna #KlassikStyle #Werq #youaremysunshine #bringthelight

If you’re an opera lover, don’t miss this extraordinary film, “Maria by Callas”. You think you knew all there was to know about her, but this documentary will surely surprise you. As I read her letters for the film, I understood her in a way no previous biography or interview has captured. @sonypictures @mariabycallas

Geometric Tuesday .... on my way to the pyre #Vienna #elevatoramusement

Criss-crossing North America, opera lovers have been enthralled by Tom Volf’s highly-praised documentary “MARIA by CALLAS”. If you thought you knew all there was to know about this revered singer, you need to see this film. Giving voice to the heart-wrenching letters she sent to beloved friends was an incredible, humbling experience for me as I helped to tell her story in her own words. In honor of the 40th Anniversary of her passing, do see this film, and gain a deeper, more intimate understanding of the woman behind the diva. #mariabycallas #MariaCallas #NYFF @thenyff

A potent, human reminder of what generosity & kindness look and feel like courtesy of #googledoodles and the timeless #MisterRogers. Brighten your day, your year, and watch goo.gl/3XUZTZ #workingwithgoogle

Well, if it’s not a “Two Widows” Reunion!!!!! @operabrandon, what a joy to share the stage with you again after tw%#*y years! And here I am again, a W2BW! (Widow To Be Wooed) Bonus points for anyone who actually attended our *historic* performances in Smetna’s underperformed opera way back in 1998 in #Chautauqua!!! #Chautauqua2Carthage #Smetna2Berlioz #HappilyEverAfter2TotalDestruction

I could not be happier or more excited that our wonderful album of Les Troyens has been named “Recording of the Year” at tonight’s Gramophone Award ceremony. Thank you to the visionary and magical music-making of John Nelson, my fabulous cast members and to @warner_classics for in believing in this project. It has been a pleasure and an extreme privilege to be a part of it. THANK YOU!!! Viva Les Troyens and viva #Berlioz.

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

~ Joyce DiDonato