Songplay – coming to you in February 2019

Joyce DiDonato greets you with a song in her heart and twinkle in her eye. The American mezzo-soprano’s album Songplay unites extraordinary musicians from the varied worlds of opera, jazz and tango in the pure pleasure of improvisation, experimentation and exchange. Together they create their own musical language, surprising listeners with timeless melodies transformed and universal stories retold over centuries; songs in English, in Italian and – naturally – in the universal language of music.

‘I had one of the most exhilarating musical weeks of my life recording the album Songplay with a world-class band. Trust me: you’re going to remember each one of these guys! It’s an incredible family of musicians – bass, piano, trumpet, drums and bandoneon. We have essentially created our own sound-world, fusing together music from the Baroque era and classics from the jazz world – with a few other surprises tossed in,’ explains Joyce. ‘We’ve all let down our guard (some of us have even let down our hair) and we’ve each expanded the musical traditions that we have come from to create our own style for this album. It’s joyful, it’s exuberant, it celebrates great music, and it shines a spotlight on the timeless nature of a great song. I hope you’ll want to hear this album over and over, and will grow to appreciate the value of playing with a song!’

On Songplay, along with her hand-picked band led by pianist and arranger Craig Terry, Joyce draws inspiration from Cavalli and Chet Baker in equal measure. The languishing heart in Giordani’s Car mio benis as emotionally charged as Jerry Bock’s hopeful Will he like me? Perhaps the most compelling reminder of how the music of Songplay breaks down barriers is from DiDonato’s experience leading vocal and composition workshops in the New York prison Sing Sing, where one of the men who is incarcerated was particularly moved upon hearing her rendition of Car mio ben: ‘I feel like I’ve known this song my whole life.’

Joyce DiDonato’s stellar credentials in Baroque and Italian arias didn’t stop her from exploring her beloved American Songbook alongside Haydn and Rossini for the GRAMMY Award-winning album Joyce & Tony: Live from Wigmore Hall. With In War and Peace, she demonstrated the healing power of music that brings people together on the path towards peace. This album picks up from that place of peace and leaps into the realm of joy: it is an all-encompassing celebration of song – one in which there are no boundaries or rules. Let’s play.

Joyce DiDonato, voice
Craig Terry, keys
Chuck Israels, double bass
Jimmy Madison, drums
Lautaro Greco, bandoneon
Charlie Porter, trumpet

Songplay on tour:
18 February 2019 – Taper Auditorium – Seattle
20 February 2019 – Zellerbach Hall –Berkeley
25 February 2019 – Ordway Music Theatre – St Paul
27 February 2019 – Oberlin Conservatory
1 March 2019 – NEC’s Jordan Hall – Boston
10 March 2019 – Richardson Auditorium – Princeton

Photo: Chris Singer

19 Oct

WELCOME HOME!!!!! https://t.co/T1HiL3Gij0

19 Oct

Oh man, mais j'adore les points d'exclamation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/01SYkgsDXr

18 Oct

The badge had better have glitter ... !!! :-) https://t.co/MsFtJznpbf

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato

#Schubert coaching the day after I die in #Carthage? Don’t mind if I do!!! #itmightallendindeath #butwhatamasterfuljourney #itsnotthedestinationbutthejourney #winterjourney #souljourney #berliozcompletesme #schubertconnectsme

It is the thrill of a lifetime to be able to bring Didon to the stage in Berlioz's Les Troyens. Of course, it is an epic work, grand in every sense of the word; but it is the humanity and the intimacy found in this role that is nearly unbearable to me. If you’re near Vienna, I’d recommend not missing it. If you can’t see it live in the house, there will be a live stream on November 4. 🔗 in bio. Photo: Michael Pöhn / Wiener Staatsoper

#HowToVienna #KlassikStyle #Werq #youaremysunshine #bringthelight

If you’re an opera lover, don’t miss this extraordinary film, “Maria by Callas”. You think you knew all there was to know about her, but this documentary will surely surprise you. As I read her letters for the film, I understood her in a way no previous biography or interview has captured. @sonypictures @mariabycallas

Geometric Tuesday .... on my way to the pyre #Vienna #elevatoramusement

Criss-crossing North America, opera lovers have been enthralled by Tom Volf’s highly-praised documentary “MARIA by CALLAS”. If you thought you knew all there was to know about this revered singer, you need to see this film. Giving voice to the heart-wrenching letters she sent to beloved friends was an incredible, humbling experience for me as I helped to tell her story in her own words. In honor of the 40th Anniversary of her passing, do see this film, and gain a deeper, more intimate understanding of the woman behind the diva. #mariabycallas #MariaCallas #NYFF @thenyff

A potent, human reminder of what generosity & kindness look and feel like courtesy of #googledoodles and the timeless #MisterRogers. Brighten your day, your year, and watch goo.gl/3XUZTZ #workingwithgoogle

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.

Follow Joyce on Instagram

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

~ Joyce DiDonato