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

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~ Joyce DiDonato