Songplay Tour Reviews

“DiDonato’s ravishingly beautiful account of Giovanni Paisiello’s aria “Nel cor più non mi sento” — a series of hushed, impeccably controlled melodic phrases delivered for maximum expressive impact — pointed toward something even deeper and more rewarding than the promised fun.”

Datebook, San Francisco Chronicle

“DiDonato conjured a nightclub atmosphere that was at once relaxed and rarefied, improbable and utterly convincing. Songplay fell into a groove of its own singular making, and pulled a grateful, at times wonderstruck, audience into its warm embrace.”

San Francisco Classical Voice

“Based on selections from the Italian art song repertoire, DiDonato’s 90-minute “Songplay” concert probed boundaries between classical and jazz idioms, looking for overlaps and opportunities to dissolve barriers altogether.”

Star Tribune

“Treating each of the popular ballads as miniature dramatic scenes, DiDonato mined the subtle passions of George Shearing’s “Lullaby of Birdland.” “Will he like me” from Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s 1963 musical She Loves Me was coy and innocent. So too was Duke Ellington’s “Solitude,” which the singer shaded in warm, plush tones.”

Boston Classical Review

“DiDonato’s “Songplay” program was a captivating medley of the beloved baroque and classical “arie antiche,” transported into delicious harmonic la la lands of sheer sonic whimsy. Whereas these melodies in their original setting require a measure of tasteful and elegant restraint, it turns out they are well served by the free-inprovisational style of jazz arrangements, where exaggerated fermatas, multi-octave glissandi, accented ostinatos and generous rubatti merely add to the spontaneity of singing, as if sung by someone unaware that she is being watched.”


“DiDonato herself is a performer of glorious voice and canny stage presence. Singing the Italian chestnuts, she was full-throated, without too much jazz affect save for some sly winks. The audience (mostly classical fans) giggled when she tacked on a vocal-jazz coda here and dueled with Porter there, growling out a few notes before embarking down a perfect chromatic stairstep scale and sliding the other way back.”

The Boston Globe

11 Jun

Who needs espresso? Or to understand the wonder of life? Apparently I only need this....!

11 Jun


9 Jun

Cry. You can reapply the concealer .... tears are cleansing and sometimes called for ... 😔

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#SummerLovin #LovinLavender #LavenderLovin

I arrive (nearly) to the end of this very full season, and it’s good moment to remind each of you reading this that YOU are the reason I travel the world, away from home for months at a time, working towards an unattainable perfection, exposed in ways very few people can imagine, singing the stories of characters searching for enlightenment/redemption/hope/relief/joy, and why I dedicate a large part of my life to this century’s old art form. I do it to entertain you at a minimum, but mostly to offer you comfort, to help us all join in a communal “event” that connects us across time and space despite our perceived differences, and I do it because I truly believe it makes the world a better place. I know you feel this most of the time as well. It’s likely what keeps bringing you back! I hope that after this season, perhaps you feel a bit more inspired to take what you receive as an audience member and activate that sensation in your own life, to bring hope and joy to the world around you. Don’t ever underestimate your power to do that - one doesn’t need the spotlight to bring transformation. #Songplay #Winterreise #Agrippina #Didon ✨

If this girl can do it, you can too!!!!!!! #belikeanant #heavyload #yourenevergivenanythingyoucanthandle #antsruletheworld #summerlovin

Grazie Mille @accademiadisantacecilia and the @baciopanino boys. What a JOY it was to perform with you all. Until the next time!

Celebrating #WorldOceansDay ... hoping every single one of you has the chance to swim in the vast blue ocean one day. Growing up in Kansas, I didn’t have the chance until I was in my 30’s, but when I finally did, an entire new universe opened right underneath me and I was changed. I’m so grateful for all that the planet’s oceans give to us. I want to be sure I’m doing all I can as a citizen of the world to take care of them and their vast, life-giving properties. Let’s get more informed and more active in protecting them and helping them thrive.

I was not prepared. The inspiration is through the roof to bring to life the towering cantata of #JoanOfArc tonight in the very cathedral de St. Denis, where she prayed for strength centuries and centuries ago. The same stones that received her pleas tonight will hear them again filtered through the mind of Rossini and the vibrations of those of us on stage. This, perhaps, is the thing I love most about the world of music - it connects us directly through time and space, and it shows us demonstrably how we are one. Ask me how much I love my “job”! @festivalsaintdenis @accademiadisantacecilia

#HowToFlower . . . What’s beautiful around you right now?

Grazie Mille, Roma. What a gift to be here for the briefest of moments - how much life we can find in the now!!!! #LightShower #Pantheon #Mystical #Luz #Luz #Luz #NoFilter #LookAround #Stopqndbreathe #batheinthelight #recoup #regenerate #batheingratitude #boydidtheromansknowhowtobuildabuilding #agrippinawashere #perfection #ladolcevita

And behind the scenes with Maestro Pappano and his @accademiadisantacecilia: a glimpse into the PROCESS which I love so much as we create our journey to prepare for the magic of the audience’s arrival. Thank you all for making our hard work so worthwhile!

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

~ Joyce DiDonato