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HERE/AFTER: Songs of Lost Voices
by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer

2CD-set from PentaTone Classics
Release date: October 21

Featuring Talise Trevigne, soprano; Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano; Stephen Costello, tenor; Nathan Gunn, baritone; Carol Wincenc, flute; and the Alexander String Quartet

Here/After: Songs of Lost Voices gives voice to those no longer with us, including Camille Claudel, Francis Poulenc, Wanda Landowska, Pierre Bernac and Paul Eluard. It also pays tribute to the lives lost on September 11, 2001. Here/After is a double play on the spiritual hereafter that their voices are still here even though their bodies are gone.

The piece is riveting from start to finish, composed for the 30th anniversary of the Alexander String Quartet, and for Joyce DiDonato, whose singing is simply ravishing, some of the best I have ever heard from her vast recorded legacy. The music for the quartet has flavors of Debussy’s own work for that medium, and the rhythmic elements and hearty tonal melodic contours make for an enthralling experience that must be heard.” ~ Steven Ritter Audiophile November 2013

“Written for mezzo-soprano and string quartet, Camille Claudel – Into the Fire recalls the day on which the French sculptor and muse of the better-known Auguste Rodin was confined to the Ville-Évrard asylum.  Mr. Scheer’s poetry movingly conveys the uncanny lucidity of Claudel’s insanity as she takes leave of sculptures in her studio, and Mr. Heggie provides melodic lines that dig into the nuances of the language with sounds that are both unmistakably modern and mildly suggestive of the tonal world of Debussy, with whom Claudel was erroneously rumored to have shared a liaison.  Mr. Heggie pays homage to Ms. DiDonato’s consummate mastery of Baroque and bel canto repertories by giving her coloratura passages and even a trill—which, as hardly needs to be articulated, she delivers with a display of technique so remarkable that these feats sound no more difficult than breathing.  More importantly, Mr. Heggie gives Ms. DiDonato music that calls upon every shimmering color in her voice, inspiring her to a performance of touching restraint and impeccable vocal warmth.  There is something very moving about hearing this great singer voice lines like ‘Last night, I went to sleep completely naked, / I pretended you were holding me’ in ‘Prelude; Rodin’ and ‘I understand. / I must be very still. / Thank you for remembering me’ in ‘Epilogue: Jessie Lipscomb visits Camille Claudel, Montdevergues Asylum, 1929.’  Memorable as Ms. DiDonato’s performances in the world’s opera houses are, her singing in Camille Claudel – Into the Fire is truly unforgettable.

It was usual for composers of Ms. DiDonato’s typical repertory to write specifically for the abilities of individual singers, but 21st-Century composers mostly compose generic vocal lines with ambitions of hearing their music sung as frequently as possible.  Camille Claudel – Into the Fire will surely resound with the unique qualities of many different voices in future, but Ms. DiDonato gives a performance that, like the sentiments of which she sings, is for the ages.” ~ Joseph Newsome Voix des Arts November 2013

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Composer Jake Heggie, Poet Gene Scheer, The Alexander String Quartet, and the recording team at the end of this exhilarating recording.

Composer Jake Heggie, Poet Gene Scheer, The Alexander String Quartet, and the recording team at the end of this exhilarating recording.

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12 hours ago

Toi Toi Toi you gorgeous artists and heavenly theater folks!!!!

23 hours ago

I’m going to need video. (And tell your students to sing out! 🤩)

18 Sep

It only counts if I see the photos! :-)

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato


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.

Tune in to Great Performances | PBS to watch @metopera #Cendrillon broadcast at 12PM ET today! ✨👠👸 Photo: Paola Kudacki / Met Opera #greatperformancespbs

What a perfect, beautiful, timely moment to embrace a fairy tale: don’t miss the Metropolitan Opera's heralded production of “Cendrillon” on @PBS Great Performances! Bask in the beautiful French melodies of Massenet. Laugh at the charming staging. Marvel at the gorgeous costumes. Revel in the soaring vocal lines of our brilliant cast. I’ve spent over 20 treasured years with Cinderella, and I’d love to share this final trip to the palace with you! @metopera @alice.coote @sblythe327 @sop_kathleen_kim #laurentnaouri @metoperachorus @metorchestra #bertranddebilly #laurentpelly

Happy Friday, everyone! I wanted to start the weekend with something special that I hope you’ll enjoy! In celebration of the release of my new album “Into the fire” featuring Jake Heggie’s profound song cycle about Camille Claudel, I created this playlist featuring some of my favorite tracks of Jake’s music. 🎧 Link in bio. He is not only a dear friend, he also captures human emotions so beautifully in this writing and I am always stunned by his sheer abundance of music ideas, languages and styles. I have been fortunate enough to sing a lot of his music throughout my career and I have so many beautiful memories of each and every one of his works I performed. I will never forget the profound impact on everyone in the cast and in the audience for each performance of “Dead Man Walking” and the wonderful humanity and insight into the life of a performer in “Great Scott”. Jake’s songs are part of almost every recital I give and I hope to be able to share how special his music is, via this playlist I created for all of you! @warner_classics @applemusic

I’m in LOVE with performing #Berlioz with @monteverdi_choir_orchestras (#ORR). Add into the mix performing at the @bbc_proms and I’m positively done. My personal recommendation is that you tune in tonight for a rousing listen on @bbcradio3!!! #colormelucky #tragicdeathxtwo #berliozrocksmyworld

Thank you #Hamburg and the stunning @elbphilharmonie for such a warm welcome last night. Congratulations on the start of another stunning season. An even warmer debt of gratitude for the stunning Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique and Sir John Eliot Gardiner for divine, powerful music making. Cléopâtre has never suffered such a brutal death!! Look out, #London: you’re next!! @bbc_proms

Hello from Hamburg! I am thrilled to start the 2018/19 season with two concerts conducted by the legendary Sir John Eliot Gardiner​ and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, tonight at @elbphilharmonie Hamburg and on September 5 at the @bbc_proms in London. I will sing Didon’s death scene from Les Troyens and La mort de Cléopâtre. The next two months are all about #Berlioz for me and I could not be more excited to sing this gorgeous music. 📻 Our concert at the @royalalberthall on September 5 will also receive a live broadcast on @bbcradio3. I hope you all had a spectacular summer. I am very excited to start this new season and I look forward to seeing you at one of my performances! Photo: @chrissingerme

#shattered #glass #beautyinthebroken #geometry #viennaairport #timetofly #aspsawait @bbc_proms #hereicome #queencleo #speakingofshattered ...... 😎💋😎

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

~ Joyce DiDonato