“Joyce DiDonato’s performance as Donizetti’s Mary Queen of Scots leaves one bereft of superlatives. So let me start by claiming that bel canto of this quality has not been heard at Covent Garden for more than a generation and that, on the strength of this night alone, her name should rank in the operatic pantheon alongside the greatest legends of the past.
Flawless technical virtuosity – based in firm legato, lucid projection, clean diction, breath control, fast trills and precisely articulated runs – makes every note tell. But this is the mere machinery, the hard work.
DiDonato has the rarer gift of imaginative musicality, too, and it’s the glowing beauty of tone, warm shaping of phrase, delicate colouring of words and intense commitment to character which cast the magic and make the drama meaningful.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph