Books

Poems That Make Grown Women Cry

poems-that-make-grown-women-cry-9781501121852_hrFollowing the success of their anthology Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, father-and-son team Anthony and Ben Holden, working with Amnesty International, have asked the same revealing question of 100 remarkable women. What poem has moved you to tears? The poems chosen range from the eighth century to today, from Rumi and Shakespeare to Sylvia Plath, W.H. Auden to Carol Ann Duffy, Pablo Neruda and Derek Walcott to Imtiaz Dharker and Warsan Shire. Their themes range from love and loss, through mortality and mystery, war and peace, to the beauty and variety of nature. Alongside Dame Judi Dench, Joan Baez, Yoko Ono and 100 other extraordinary women, Joyce DiDonato selects the poem that always makes her cry: Emily Dickinson’s “The World Feels Dusty” to share in this unique collection, that delivers private insights into the minds of women whose writing, acting, and thinking are admired around the world.

Read more info and purchase your copy today via Simon and Schuster!

Master Singers: Advice from the Stage

Master Singers: Advice from the StageMaster Singers: Advice from the Stage by lyric tenor Donald George and pianist Lucy Mauro.

Through interviews with some of today’s most accomplished and renowned concert and operatic singers, including Stephanie Blythe, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Thomas Hampson, Jonas Kaufmann, Simon Keenlyside and Ewa PodleśMaster Singers provides vocalists making the transition from student to professional with indispensable advice on all aspects of achieving artistry and establishing a career.

With questions covering a variety of topics including vocal technique; performance on the operatic and recital stages; vocal teaching and study; recording, and performance anxiety, Master Singers is intended for the studio teacher, college student, the emerging artist, professional singer and the opera lover. The artists interviewed offer fascinating, educational, and thought-provoking insights into the world of classical singing.

Master Singers on Amazon

“Artists will find this book enlightening as will the general public…Understanding how we individually view and approach a particular subject proves fascinating reading.”

-Mirella Freni

 

“The comments that Donald George and Lucy Mauro have collected from singers with successful careers should help to focus attention no only on technical problems but also on how to become a communicative singing actor.”

-Plácido Domingo

Silence! Singers at Work

Silence! Book cover image

Silence! Singers at Work is a wry collection of drawings about the everyday experiences of singers. Anyone who sings, or has sung, whether on the world s greatest opera stages or in the local choir, will instantly relate to the illustrations. Internationally-acclaimed opera singer and recitalist Joyce DiDonato has collaborated with the author on the drawings and has written a preface to the book. Silence! Singers at Work makes a perfect gift for anyone who is, or who knows, a singer.

Silence! Singers at Work on Amazon.co.uk

Drama Queens ~ Piano/Vocal Score

 

Piano Vocal Score

Piano Vocal Score

A clearly defined theme: strong, triumphant, but also forsaken and suffering protagonists, all of royal blood, have their say in a series of arias, from the early Baroque up to the early Classical period, that cover the enormous range of musical soul-searching and character drawing. It was to be an attractive mixture of the well-known and the unknown for a new CD project with Il Complesso Barocco. Arias with which the celebrated American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato could show all facets of her mastery. Alan Curtis, pioneer of historical performance practice, outstanding interpreter, and musicologist, set out to find unknown treasures for her, treasures that, alongside the highlights of the repertoire, also provide for surprises.

“During the more than fifteen years I worked with Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco, the orchestra presented numerous baroque and classical masterpieces. A great number of editions have been prepared for concerts and CD recordings of Il Complesso Barocco by Alan Curtis, who is not only an accomplished musician but also a musicologist of great renown and one of the world’s leading experts on the music of the baroque and classic periods. I am delighted that now, with the help and expertise of Boosey & Hawkes, his editions will be made available to performers and music lovers worldwide.”  ~  Donna Leon

Joyce DiDonato and Alan Curtis’s “Drama Queens” became an exciting foray through two centuries of opera history, from the dawn of the young genre in the early seventeenth up to the end of the eighteenth century, in which famous arias by Monteverdi (“Disprezzata regina” from L’incoronazione di Poppea in the complete version), Cesti (“Intorno all’idol mio” from Orontea), Handel (“Ma quando tornerai” from Alcina, “Piangerò la sorte mia” from Giulio Cesare, “Brilla nell’alma” from Alessandro), and Hasse (“Morte col fiero aspetto” from Antonio e Cleopatra) are combined with Giacomelli’s original “Sposa son disprezzata” (from Merope, parodied by Vivaldi in his pasticcio Bajazet) and splendid finds by Orlandini (“Da torbida procella” and “Col versar, barbaro, il sangue” from Berenice), Keiser (“Lasciami piangere” from Fredegunda, “Geloso sospetto” fromOctavia), and Porta (“Madre diletta, abbracciami” from Ifigenia in Aulide). Haydn’s “Vedi se t’amo” fromArmida, in a transposition that is more comfortable for a mezzo-soprano, concludes the program. The arias in the present edition were newly edited, in some cases for the first time, for the CD project. As the first volume of the “Complesso Barocco Edition,” it marks the beginning of a collaboration between Alan Curtis and Boosey & Hawkes within whose framework critical and practical editions of numerous major works, in addition to rediscoveries from the Baroque to the Classical periods, will be made accessible to all interested performers.

Opera Lively ~ The Interviews

Opera Lively ~ The Interviews

Opera Lively ~ The Interviews

This book released by Opera Lively Press is a pleasure to read for everybody who cares about opera (beginners are also welcome). It contains the best of one year of journalism from Opera Lively. Singers, conductors, stage and video directors, scholars, educators, opera company managers, and composers describe in eloquent terms the entire gamut of the operatic experience. Profound insights about characters and works are side by side with discussions of controversial topics such as Regietheater, critical editions, the cult of image, and the future of the art form.

Singers include Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Danielle de Niese, Deborah Voigt, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Piotr Beczala, Matthew Polenzani, Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni, Erwin Schrott, Vivica Genaux, Saimir Pirgu, Leah Crocetto, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Bryan Hymel, Paulo Szot, Amanda Echalaz, and others. Maestro Daniele Gatti, Maestro Leon Botstein, Maestro and composer Frédéric Chaslin, Maestro Sir John Eliot Gardiner, stage director Thaddeus Strassberger, video director François Roussillon, musicologist Dr. Philip Gossett, veteran singer Sylvia Sass, contemporary composer Robert Ward, educator Dr. Marilyn Taylor, opera company directors Maestro James Meena, Maestro James Allbritten, and Eric Mitchko, and many other operatic professionals and thinkers complete the roster of 39 interviewees.

Opera journalist Luiz Gazzola, MD, PhD, the senior editor at Opera Lively, uses his three decades of experience as a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and opera lover to engage with the artists in a pleasant and conversational manner, while asking musically well-informed and intellectually challenging questions, in unusually deep interviews.

Who Married Figaro? A Book of Opera Characters Overview ~ Joyce Bourne

`Joyce Bourne has rightly identified a gap in the operaphile’s library’ ~ BBC Music Magazine

"Who Married Figaro" ~ Joyce Bourne

Here is a marvelous guide to over 2,500 operatic characters, along with invaluable synopses of over 250 major works. Each entry provides a full description of the role, indicates its vocal category, and discusses who first created the part and other notable performers.

Previously titled Who’s Who in Opera, this new edition has been revised and fully updated, with a fascinating new appendix of contemporary operas of the last ten years, including detailed synopses and world premiere cast lists, plus a list of opera-related web links. The book remains a gold mine of information on opera characters, ranging from brief identifications of minor characters to extensive multipage essays of major figures. Best of all, the volume boasts more than two dozen feature articles on major characters such as Brunnhilde and Violetta, written by well-known personalities who themselves constitute a who’s who of opera. Readers will find Placido Domingo writing on the character of Otello, perhaps his greatest role. Bryn Terfel writes on Leporello, Janet Baker on Mary Stuart, Thomas Hampson on Posa, and Theodore Uppman on Billy Budd. Other contributors include Andrew Porter, Sena Junnac, Philip Langridge, Jonathan Miller, Sir Charles MacKerras, and Marie McLaughlin. New to this edition are articles by America opera stars Christine Brewer and the charismatic Joyce DiDonato. Taken together, these special articles reveal much about the creative process behind some of the most famous performances in opera history.

Buy on Amazon.com

The Naked Voice: A Wholistic Approach to Singing ~ W. Stephen Smith

The Naked Voice ~ W. Stephen Smith

Joyce’s voice teacher, W. Stephen Smith, invites all singers to improve their vocal technique through his renowned and time-tested wholistic method. Focusing not only on the most important technical, but also on the often overlooked psychological and spiritual elements of learning to sing, his book allows readers to develop their own full and individual identities as singers. With philosophies and techniques drawn from a lifetime of teaching voice, Smith demonstrates how one can reveal the true unique sound of one’s own voice by singing with the whole self. The master’s method, presented in concrete and comprehensible terms with helpful illustrations, is enhanced by a CD containing exercises performed by singers from Smith’s own studio-singers whose talent and training bring them across the country and around the world. The clear and easy style of The Naked Voice welcomes the reader into Smith’s teaching studio, and into conversation with Smith himself as he presents the six simple and elegant exercises that form the core of his method. These exercises provide a foundation for free singing, and lead singers through the step-by-step process of mastering the technique. Throughout, Smith speaks sympathetically and encouragingly to the singer in search of an unencumbered and effective approach to the art. The Naked Voice is a must-read for all singers, giving teachers and students, amateurs and professionals, access to the methods and concepts that have earned Smith his reputation as one of the most highly-sought-after vocal instructors in the international arena today.

With The Naked Voice, Steve Smith has given each singer who reads this book a precious gift: one that not only gives insight into the seemingly elusive term of vocal technique, but one that grants individual artists the license to express themselves freely, live meaningful lives, and let their naked voices rattle into the rafters.
~ Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-Soprano

The Naked Voice on Amazon

Der Oper kocht ~ Evelyn Rillé and Johannes Ifkovits

Currently only available in German, but the English version is on it’s way!

Der Oper kocht ~ Evelyn Rillé and Johannes Ifkovits

Join Joyce and your other favorite singers on the International Circuit as they share their best family recipes with vibrant pictures and tantalizing recipes from borscht to guacamole to Joyce’s signature cinnamon rolls!

Buy on Amazon.de | View “Making of” video

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Living Opera ~ Joshua Jampol

Joyce is a featured artist in this fascinating collection of 20 wide-ranging interviews with the preeminent opera professionals working on and behind the stage today.

Living Opera ~ Joshua Jampol

Joshua Jampol invites opera-lovers to listen in as performers such as Renée Fleming, Natalie Dessay, Rolando Villazon and Placido Domingo speak in exceptionally frank terms about their strengths and weaknesses, and address such hard-hitting, enduring topics as how they deal with critics, vocal troubles, and balancing their career and family lives. We hear conductors such as James Conlon, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Kent Nagano discuss their likes and dislikes about the state of contemporary opera, their own inspirations, and whom they themselves hope to inspire. World-class directors such as Robert Carsen and Patrice Chéreau discuss the complexities involved in staging a successful opera, and how opera can remain relevant today. Jampol has unprecedented access to these major singers, conductors, and directors, and the table of contents reads like a “who’s who” of the global opera world.

Each interview highlights a distinctive voice, and Jampol brings immense knowledge and a wonderful flair to these conversations. He allows his subjects to follow their thoughts wherever they lead, and reveals in the process a more intimate, reflective side of the emotional and extravagant world of the lyric arts.

For anyone wanting to know more about the people behind the performances–what they think, how they feel, and who they really are–Living Opera is full of delights and surprises.

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

~ Joyce DiDonato