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

11 Jun

Who needs espresso? Or to understand the wonder of life? Apparently I only need this....! https://t.co/F56DafpiH7

11 Jun

Indeed. https://t.co/p8G1st1OSG

9 Jun

Cry. You can reapply the concealer .... tears are cleansing and sometimes called for ... 😔 https://t.co/fd9hDX0OgS

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#SummerLovin #LovinLavender #LavenderLovin

I arrive (nearly) to the end of this very full season, and it’s good moment to remind each of you reading this that YOU are the reason I travel the world, away from home for months at a time, working towards an unattainable perfection, exposed in ways very few people can imagine, singing the stories of characters searching for enlightenment/redemption/hope/relief/joy, and why I dedicate a large part of my life to this century’s old art form. I do it to entertain you at a minimum, but mostly to offer you comfort, to help us all join in a communal “event” that connects us across time and space despite our perceived differences, and I do it because I truly believe it makes the world a better place. I know you feel this most of the time as well. It’s likely what keeps bringing you back! I hope that after this season, perhaps you feel a bit more inspired to take what you receive as an audience member and activate that sensation in your own life, to bring hope and joy to the world around you. Don’t ever underestimate your power to do that - one doesn’t need the spotlight to bring transformation. #Songplay #Winterreise #Agrippina #Didon ✨

If this girl can do it, you can too!!!!!!! #belikeanant #heavyload #yourenevergivenanythingyoucanthandle #antsruletheworld #summerlovin

Grazie Mille @accademiadisantacecilia and the @baciopanino boys. What a JOY it was to perform with you all. Until the next time!

Celebrating #WorldOceansDay ... hoping every single one of you has the chance to swim in the vast blue ocean one day. Growing up in Kansas, I didn’t have the chance until I was in my 30’s, but when I finally did, an entire new universe opened right underneath me and I was changed. I’m so grateful for all that the planet’s oceans give to us. I want to be sure I’m doing all I can as a citizen of the world to take care of them and their vast, life-giving properties. Let’s get more informed and more active in protecting them and helping them thrive.

I was not prepared. The inspiration is through the roof to bring to life the towering cantata of #JoanOfArc tonight in the very cathedral de St. Denis, where she prayed for strength centuries and centuries ago. The same stones that received her pleas tonight will hear them again filtered through the mind of Rossini and the vibrations of those of us on stage. This, perhaps, is the thing I love most about the world of music - it connects us directly through time and space, and it shows us demonstrably how we are one. Ask me how much I love my “job”! @festivalsaintdenis @accademiadisantacecilia

#HowToFlower . . . What’s beautiful around you right now?

Grazie Mille, Roma. What a gift to be here for the briefest of moments - how much life we can find in the now!!!! #LightShower #Pantheon #Mystical #Luz #Luz #Luz #NoFilter #LookAround #Stopqndbreathe #batheinthelight #recoup #regenerate #batheingratitude #boydidtheromansknowhowtobuildabuilding #agrippinawashere #perfection #ladolcevita

And behind the scenes with Maestro Pappano and his @accademiadisantacecilia: a glimpse into the PROCESS which I love so much as we create our journey to prepare for the magic of the audience’s arrival. Thank you all for making our hard work so worthwhile!

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

~ Joyce DiDonato