About the album

Stella di Napoli – Joyce DiDonato

Pacini / Bellini / Carafa / Rossini / Mercadante / Donizetti / Valentini

On Stella di Napoli (Star of Naples), the American mezzo-soprano’s creamy tone and dramatic prowess breathe new life into little-known arias by Mercadante, Michele Carafa (a student of Cherubini and close friend of Rossini), Carlo Valentini and the prolific opera composer Giovanni Pacini, whose Stella di Napoli (1845) gives the album its title. Joyce worked closely with Italian conductor Riccardo Minasi (whose previous projects include Bellini’s Norma with Cecilia Bartoli) to bring three unjustly neglected arias to light in new editions and world premiere recordings. Alongside these little-known gems, Joyce presents a sumptuous Bel Canto banquet with music by the three greats — Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti — including the latter’s Maria Stuarda: a tour-de-force signature role for Joyce, recently screened in cinemas and released on DVD from the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Track Listing

01 Stella di Napoli, Part I: “Ove t’aggiri, o barbaro” (Stella, Marta)
02 Adelson e Salvini, Act 1: “Dopo l’oscuro nembo” (Nelly)
03 Le nozze di Lammermoor, Act 2: “L’amica ancor non torna… Oh, di sorte crudel” (Lucia)
04 Zelmira, Act 2: “Riedi al soglio” (Zelmira, Polidoro, Ilo)
05 La vestale, Act 2: “Se fino al cielo ascendere” (Giunia)
06 Elisabetta al castello di Kenilworth, Act 3: “Par che mi dica ancora” (Amelia)
07 I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Act 2: “Tu sola, o mia Giulietta… Deh! tu, bell’anima” (Romeo)
08 Il sonnambulo, Act 1: “Lasciami… Se il mar sommesso mormora” (Adele, Sofia)
09 Maria Stuarda, Act 3: “Io vi rivedo alfin… Deh! Tu di un’umile preghiera” (Maria)
10 Saffo, Act 3: “Flutto che muggi… Teco dall’are pronube… L’ama ognor qual io l’amai” (Saffo, Faone, Climene, Alcandro)

Awards

Gramophone Editor’s Choice

Editor’s Choice – Gramophone Magazine
International Classical Music Award for “Best Vocal Recital”

Reviews

“The aria from Maria Stuarda which DiDonato sings so triumphantly is but one highlight on this sumptuous disc from one of today’s most impressive singers.” – November 2014 Gramophone Editor’s Choice

“Here DiDonato is in top form, tossing off staccatos, trills, arpeggios, repeated notes and chromatics with astonishing accuracy and energy.” – Opera News

“As expected, DiDonato has virtuosity to spare, but what makes this disc special is the shimmering radiance of emotion she brings to operas such as Bellini’s Adelson e Salvini and Pacini’s Saffo. In Mary Stuart’s radiantly sung solo before her execution DiDonato leaves no doubt that her own star is at its height.” – Financial Times

“ . . . this luscious collection of Italian bel canto opera arias presents the incandescent DiDonato on top form, the creamy tones effortlessly whipped into endless, kaleidoscopic threads of melody.” – The Times UK

A must for all fans of DiDonato, especially if you enjoyed her last Rossini disc Colbran: The Muse – and well worth exploring for anyone who fancies an enthusiastic, committed guide to the highways and byways of bel canto.” – Presto Classical

“You may think bel canto recital discs are not your thing. Let Joyce DiDonato convince you otherwise. She did me.” – The Guardian/The Observer

“The title of Joyce DiDonato’s new Erato album is “Stella di Napoli” (Star of Naples). The title is appropriate since no opera star today shines more brightly than this mezzo soprano . . . On the whole, these bel canto characters do not lead happy lives but they do suffer and expire in style, especially when portrayed by DiDonato.” – The Epoch Times

“… (she) subtly colours the words and notes… with unerring imagination… all are worth hearing…” – Sinfini Music

“To be a top classical singer you have to have a lot. But Joyce DiDonato is different: she’s got it all.” – The Mail on Sunday

“Joyce DiDonato allures with virtuosic coloratura and the sensuality of her perfectly appealing mezzo-depth.” – Der Tagesspiegel

“L’étoile de Naples ne pouvait être mieux sertie.” – Diapason

“…DiDonato’s perfectly poised interpretation of “Dopo l’oscuro nembo”, from Bellini’s Adelson e Salvini, at once majestic, sensuous and stoically wounded.” – The Independent

“The melodies are broad and expressive, the coloratura thrilling, and DiDonato endows everything with her trademark blend of charisma and precision.” – SF Gate

Album info

Release date: September 2, 2014
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Studio
Label: September 2, 2014
ASIN: B00FPTG0TG

11 mins ago

Is it too biased if I also highly recommend it? 🤗 #ticketalert https://t.co/AgREWELwpx

15 hours ago

I am touched to receive the award for Best Female Singer 2019 as part of the Oper! Awards. This Opera Family is som… https://t.co/LmHpvHqd3c

20 hours ago

RT @AskonasHolt: Inspiring words from @JoyceDiDonato on #InternationalDayofPeace #TalkPeace 📸 © Brooke Shaden / @brookeshaden https://t.c

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato

I am truly touched to receive the award for Best Female Singer 2019 as part of the inaugural Oper! Awards. This Opera Family is something I treasure deeply, and to join in such a wonderful celebration together as we forge our way forward into the 21st Century is something that inspires me deeply! Onwards and upwards, and sincere congratulations to all the honorees! ✨ ▶︎ www.oper-awards.com 📷 @chrissingerme

#Repost @royaloperahouse with @get_repost ・・・ Handel with care Not long now until Handel’s Agrippina opens on the Main Stage! Starring Joyce DiDonato in the title role, the opera is considered Handel's first operatic masterpiece. When it premiered in 1709 it proved an immediate success and an unprecedented series of 27 consecutive performances followed. This production is brought to life with characteristic invention by director Barrie Kosky. Agrippina opens on Monday - head to our website to book tickets now!

Day 4 of our 8-Days-In-A-Row Rehearsal Marathon to bring #Agrippina to London’s @royaloperahouse in all her glory? ✔️ No question: she is something else!!!! #absolutepowercorruptsabsolutely

I am thrilled to have been named “Female Singer of the Year” for my new album “Songplay". This album holds a very special place in my heart and we had an absolute blast recording it. Huge thank you to @opusklassik for this honor and congratulations to all the other award recipients. I’m so proud to be a part of the classical music family which aims to bring beauty, truth, and reflection into the world. The official ceremony will take place at @konzerthausberlin on October 13th and will be broadcast on ZDF. 🎧 Listen to the Opus Klassik Winners 2019 playlist on @idagioofficial: https://app.idagio.com/playlists/opus-klassik-winners-2019 • 📷 @chrissingerme • Styling: @vitatzykun • Art direction: @catecool • 💎 @tamsenz • 💄 @glowbyaffan • @warner_classics @warnerclassicsus @craigterrypiano #songplay #craigterry @hotlipsporter @lautaro_greco #chuckisraels #jimmymadison #playwiththatsong #yougottalovetobeabletoplay #withasonginmyheart #mezzosoprano #joycedidonato #musicislife #musiciansofinstagram #womenartists

I am so happy to make my debut in Romania this afternoon and sing a concert at the prestigious George Enescu Festival. I hope you can all join us at the gorgeous Romanian Athenaeum. @enescu_festival Photo: @simon.pauly • #georgeenescufestival #athenaeum #mezzosoprano #operasingersofinstagram #tourlife #musiciansofinstagram #musicislife #haydn #mozart #bellini #berlioz #rossini #hahn #pabloluna #recital #operalife #womenartists #instamusic #instaclassical #musicislife #mezzosrock #artistsoninstagram

Hey @nyo.usa - missing you all, so sporting my @converse sneaks in solidarity!!!! Such a WONDERFUL experience performing with each of you on tour! When we meet again on the concert stages of the world, please come say HELLO!!!!! In the meantime, go conquer this next year of your training and your LIFE!!!!! #standingovation to y’all!!!! Xoxoxo

LIVE from the @elbphilharmonie on @medici.tv!!! 🔗 http://bit.ly/LesNuitsdEte-Elbphilharmonie. Please join me, Maestro #antoniopappano and the extraordinary, life-affirming #NYOUSA orchestra for the conclusion of our incredibly memorable tour! (Or If you’re in Hamburg, head down to the hall to watch live on the open-air screen for free!) I promise, you will feel uplifted, inspired, and full of hope by watching these extraordinary young musicians!!! • • “When Joyce DiDonato was singing Le spectre de la rose from Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été — her voice so tender, so poignant, so full of meaning — it really was hard to imagine anything more perfect. [...] DiDonato made it human and transcendent.” - The Times • • 📷 @chrisleephotonyc @carnegiehall #berlioz #lesnuitsdete #joycedidonato #musiciansofinstagram #instaclassical #livestream #musicislife #tourlife

My heart...thank you, @bbc_proms and all the gorgeous #Prommers and the gorgeous @royalalberthall and you gorgeous #London audiences! I was very proud today to stand alongside the incredible musicians of the #nyousa orchestra bringing #Berlioz to life. Such a beautiful souvenir!!!

Can’t think of a more gorgeous way to wake up on this Sunny London Morning than to join the divine #NYOUSA in Berlioz’s *sublime* Les nuits d’été, LIVE at the @bbc_proms. You can join us LIVE to listen on @bbcradio3! It is a complete joy to share the stage with these incredible musicians. Photo: the divine @chrisleephotonyc

Follow Joyce on Instagram

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

~ Joyce DiDonato