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“DiDonato provides the sparks” in new ‘Norma’ at The Met

“Her partner for many of those duets was Joyce DiDonato, whose performance as the romantic rival Adalgisa provided yet more evidence–as if we needed any–of her status as a supreme bel canto stylist. Her technique as firm as bedrock, she built a gripping character on her fiery vocal interpretation. Her confession to Norma in the Act I duet “Sola, furtiva al tempio” showed palpable sorrow, and a special urgency, as she sang every word as though it were the most important in the libretto.”

Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review

“A large part of the opening night success was a stunning performance by Joyce DiDonato as Adalgisa, the young novice for whom Pollione plans to discard Norma. DiDonato, who is listed as a mezzo-soprano but who owns a lovely coloratura voice and is at home in bel canto roles, sings beautifully throughout. Her duets with Radvanovsky, especially the second act cabaletta in which the two women pledge friendship, are tender and moving … she and Radvanovsky form a perfect match, especially in their reconciliation duet.”

Wilborn Hampton – The Huffington Post

“Joyce DiDonato brought her detailed artistry and flexible mezzo to Adalgisa, skillfully matching Radvanovsky in their duets. Their time onstage together remained the most exciting and musically satisfying of the evening.”

Kim Feltkamp – Operawire

“… the three leads — Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, Joyce DiDonato as her sidekick/rival Adalgisa, and Joseph Calleja as the unworthy object of their affections — provide plenty of dazzlement … if there is one Adalgisa who can upstage the star, that would be Joyce DiDonato, who sounds less like a novice priestess than an experienced divinity in her own right. She sings with exhilarating physicality, loosing vocal lines that spring into the air like great cats. Adalgisa has none of Norma’s nuance: She falls for a man, has second thoughts, then third, indulging in the back-and-forth of the impulsive and weak. DiDonato sings her like a woman biding her time for a promotion in the druid clergy. Maybe she’s the one who will one day bring the empire to its knees.”

Justin Davidson – Vulture

“She exudes youthful longing and fretful confusion. Her melting tone and natural richness were ideal for Adalgisa’s elegant, wistful phrases.”

Anthony Tommasini – The New York Times

“Vocal fireworks were certainly on display as the Met opened its year with Norma starring its two leading house bel-canto sopranos. These women are treasures. Pure treasures … Joyce DiDonato (Adalgisa) is vocal heaven. She has sung many of the Met’s recent high profile bel-canto roles – the title role of Maria Stuarda prior to her co-star last night and a breathtaking Cinderella in the Met’s La Cenerentola. This season, she again sings Cinderella, now in Massanet’s rare and anticipated Cendrillon. DiDonato’s isn’t a huge voice. But it is round, plushy, nuanced and intelligently produced. No singer, and I repeat no singer singing today, understands bel-canto better than DiDonato. She’s also a solid actor. She’s beautiful. So my advice is not to miss Joyce DiDonato. In anything.”

Mark McLaren – ZEALnyc

“DiDonato gives a memorable performance as the hand-wringing Adalgisa. Her cabaletta with Radvanovsky is particularly thrilling, with both singers exhibiting gorgeous harmony and flawlessly coordinated phrasing. We get a perfect sense of the complicated and intimate relationship between these two women.”

Zachary Stewart – Theater Mania

“DiDonato’s Adalgisa appearance–with her pixie haircut–was a distinctive contrast as the novice to Radvanovsky’s high priestess, but she was no lightweight in the role and her acting is as terrific as her singing.”

Richard Sasanow – BroadwayWorld

“Joyce DiDonato, who sang Adalgisa, has the kind of voice of which bel-canto composers dreamed. Her technique is immaculate, and she has the preternatural ability to invest turns, runs, and trills with psychological significance, so that it seems entirely in character for a Druid to sing in rapid-fire Italian. When she snatches a breath between long phrases, she makes it a convulsion of the heart.”

Alex Ross – The New Yorker

“In a bit of luxury casting, Adalgisa is played by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who generally stars in her productions. She made an especially appealing “other woman” and her duos with Radvanovsky were sublime.”

Barry Bassis – The Epoch Times

“… Joyce DiDonato was the star of this performance. Vocally she sounded as if she could have been capable of singing Norma herself and her Adalgisa displayed all the great qualities of her refined high mezzo, with its wide range from rich chest voice to refulgent top notes. Her voice blended dramatically with Radvanovsky’s in their great confrontations, such as ‘Mira, o Norma’, and throughout they presented two very strong female characters.”

Jim Pritchard – Seen and Heard International

Joyce DiDonato, who sang Adalgisa, has the kind of voice of which bel-canto composers dreamed. Her technique is immaculate, and she has the preternatural ability to invest turns, runs, and trills with psychological significance, so that it seems entirely in character for a Druid to sing in rapid-fire Italian. When she snatches a breath between long phrases, she makes it a convulsion of the heart.”

Alex Ross – The New Yorker

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

~ Joyce DiDonato