Concert Reviews

DiDonato leads an inspired cast in sensational “Ariodante” at Carnegie

New York Classical Review
by Eric C. Simpson
View Article

The renaissance of baroque opera in America shows no signs of slowing down: Carnegie Hall on Sunday afternoon saw a sold-out performance of a four-hour Handel opera, in which Harry Bicket’s English Concert and Joyce DiDonato gave a performance so stunning it was liable to make even the most jaded of early-music skeptics take note …

There was little question as to Sunday’s star—DiDonato gave a sensational performance of the title role, one that ranks right alongside her greatest triumphs on the Met stage. Her many bel canto roles have shown off her splendid, rippling coloratura time and again, an asset that was thrown into only starker relief by Handel’s florid writing. She handled even the most treacherous runs with ease, making a true tour de force out of the demanding aria “Con l’ali di costanza.” A cool, flowing sound and soft glow come naturally to her, and yet she can inject passionate fire seemingly with the flip of a switch.

Her most stunning moments came not when she was flashing that splendid coloratura technique, but in her character’s most intimate thoughts. Act II’s “Scherza infida,” a quiet expression of anguish at Ginevra’s apparent infidelity, was spellbinding, as DiDonato showed a softer luster to her tone, contrasting with the role’s dominant direct, forward fire. She allowed herself for a bar or two to drop to a pianissimo in a shattering instant of vulnerability. Bicket and the ensemble were right with her, their sound suddenly as delicate as lace under her whispered phrases.

Leave a Comment

Audio Player

Newsletter

Twitter

11 hours ago

We will remember it, as well!! https://t.co/YTp5KRyCLU

11 hours ago

Thank you, Nicola! https://t.co/K5KQ9KgBPI

11 hours ago

Thank you so much, Steffi. We are so happy it was such a profound experience for you. https://t.co/a3imVhW4cN

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato

Instagram

In the midst of #chaos, how do you find #peace? #inwarandpeace #talkpeace #dopeace #bepeace @ilpdo

Bon Dia, World!!! Back on tour from today with #inwarandpeace, ready to pick up our quest for harmony!! @fcgulbenkian @ilpdo #vivaportugal #TalkPeace #DoPeace #BePeace

What glorious human beings. It was he privilege of a lifetime to honor this amazing woman, Frederica Von Stade, recognizing the priceless contributions she makes to her community and to the world last night in San Francisco. Of course, it couldn’t have happened without the tireless and ever-inspiring Jake Heggie. I floated out of there convinced the love in that room (and the amazing young talent) can save the world!!! #ibelieve #musicismagic #SANFRANSISCOCOMMUNITYMUSICCENTER

What an unforgettable experience, bringing Massenet’s storybook opera #Cendrillon to the stage of the @metopera for the first time in its storied history. It has been a dream to sing about love while surrounded by so much of it - from the cast and crew, to the @metoperachorus, @metorchestra, to YOU the audience, who laughed and cried with us all. I’ll never tire of this story, a wonderful balm for the world. A billion thanks to everyone involved, most especially my #PrinceCharming, @alice.coote! #OperaIsMagic #happilyeverafter #firstandprobablylastmetstageselfie

#Cinderella #Red #Couture #OperaRocks #OperaFashion @metopera @metoperasupers @metoperachorus There are no words to describe the joy that has been this show. Merçi a tous!!!!!

#sisters and #fairies and #gowns, OH MY!!!!!

#howtobackstage @metopera @metoperachorus #cendrillon #thriller? #operaismagic #operaiswhack

#cinders.......time to say goodbye.....😭😭😭

What a bunch of #disruptors!! Loved being honored as one of them last night at the inspiring @nationalsawdust gala. (It also felt like #prom with the tireless and innovative @arcostanzo!) And for the record? @esperanzaspalding is #everything. So is #TerrenceMcNally - as soulful a disruptor as ever there was!!!! @elenalumahai @tomkirdahy #creation #arttransforms #shakeyourselfupfromtheinside

Follow Joyce on Instagram

Facebook

Flickr

  • A photo on Flickr
  • A photo on Flickr
  • A photo on Flickr
  • A photo on Flickr
  • A photo on Flickr
  • A photo on Flickr
  • A photo on Flickr
  • A photo on Flickr
  • A photo on Flickr

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

~ Joyce DiDonato