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Berlioz’s Les Troyens wins Gramophone’s 2018 Recording of the Year Award

‘A peach of a recording’ is how I signed off my original review of this account of Berlioz’s Les Troyens last December – ‘a thrilling new benchmark for this epic opera’. I completely stand by that assessment today – this set from Erato is an absolute stunner. I attended the second of two concert performances in Strasbourg last year from which the recording was taken (along with a patching session). Not only was it my outstanding concert of 2017, the resulting set was easily my disc of the year too.
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Joyce DiDonato and John Gardiner at the BBC Proms

“The centrepiece of the programme was a complementary pair of death scenes featuring Cleopatra and Dido, sung by Joyce DiDonato. In this vast hall it is arguable that a larger voice is needed to rise to the tragic immensity of these utterances, but the ardour of her singing brought every word to life. La mort de Cléopâtre, with its shuddering end as the asp’s poison takes effect, took musical effects to the extreme. In Dido’s last aria from Les Troyens DiDonato and Gardiner combined to achieve an electric sensitivity.”

Financial Times
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La Clemenza di Tito

“Among the many sparkling facets of Joyce DiDonato’s artistry, her singing of Mozart repertoire perhaps does not receive the attention that her performances of Baroque, bel canto, and contemporary music justifiably garner. This is an inexplicable injustice, as her depiction of Sesto in this recording of La clemenza di Tito is a performance of the sort of psychological depth and technical confidence that only a truly great singer can muster.

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The New Herald: Joyce DiDonato, singing that is more than singing

It is not a secret that in a great singer the voice is not everything. Having it is an absolute privilege that implies responsibilities. When there is voice and intelligence, things improve. And if you add feeling (call it spirit, soul or heart) you get a product designed to stay, to transcend. This is the case that today Joyce DiDonato exemplifies without a doubt. The mezzo from Kansas shows that it is not enough to be in possession of an exceptional voice, what she does, she does with soul and thought, and not because she needs to compensate for a premature decline in vocal faculties but, on the contrary, she is at her best.

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WFMT – Joyce DiDonato: Without the arts as an outlet, children may turn to anger and violence

“The arts in our schools today, and in general society, have sort of been pecked away at. I think we’re starting to raise children in our society that don’t have an outlet to express themselves,” mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato said. “They don’t have an outlet to go to and try to sort through the thorny issues that they’re feeling when they’re 13, 14, 15, and the world doesn’t make sense to them, and they don’t know where they’re going, and everything is confusing.

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Joyce DiDonato: “Without the arts as an outlet, children may turn to anger and violence”

Joyce DiDonato sits down with WFMT to talk about Carnegie Hall’s new album release Hopes & Dreams for the Lullaby Project. She talks about the profound effect music has had on her life and its ability to help our youth discover the power of empathy.

“The arts in our schools today, and in general society, have sort of been pecked away at. I think we’re starting to raise children in our society that don’t have an outlet to express themselves,” mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato said. “They don’t have an outlet to go to and try to sort through the thorny issues that they’re feeling when they’re 13, 14, 15, and the world doesn’t make sense to them, and they don’t know where they’re going, and everything is confusing.

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Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project Celebrates the Musical Bond Between Parent and Child

Playbill  

“Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project is a compilation recording of 15 songs written by parents from across New York City, as performed by Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Rosanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman, Rhiannon Giddens, Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant, Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The album was recently released on the Decca Gold label.”

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Joyce DiDonato: “Music transforms the shockingly painful moments of mourning and chaos into other, infinitely peaceful feelings”

Müpa Magazine interviews Joyce DiDonato about her passion for baroque music and much more during her In War & Peace tour throughout Europe.

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Joyce DiDonato and Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Concert

Bachtrack
by Jenny Camilleri

“[DiDonato] performed the desperate “Scherza infida”, with gorgeous bassoon tears, and the vengeance cry “Svegliatevi nel core” as one scene, without applause in-between. Limbs atremble, she was a mass of impotent rage, varying the repeated sections of the arias with expressive simplicity. In an equally intense “Parto, parto” by Mozart, DiDonato crowned a fabulous duet with Julien Hervé on the basset clarinet with dazzling coloratura.

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12 hours ago

Toi Toi Toi you gorgeous artists and heavenly theater folks!!!! https://t.co/6kfhATZiPg

23 hours ago

I’m going to need video. (And tell your students to sing out! 🤩) https://t.co/6vUYDquuNE

18 Sep

It only counts if I see the photos! :-) https://t.co/YQi4vlOC5r

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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.

Tune in to Great Performances | PBS to watch @metopera #Cendrillon broadcast at 12PM ET today! ✨👠👸 Photo: Paola Kudacki / Met Opera #greatperformancespbs

What a perfect, beautiful, timely moment to embrace a fairy tale: don’t miss the Metropolitan Opera's heralded production of “Cendrillon” on @PBS Great Performances! Bask in the beautiful French melodies of Massenet. Laugh at the charming staging. Marvel at the gorgeous costumes. Revel in the soaring vocal lines of our brilliant cast. I’ve spent over 20 treasured years with Cinderella, and I’d love to share this final trip to the palace with you! @metopera @alice.coote @sblythe327 @sop_kathleen_kim #laurentnaouri @metoperachorus @metorchestra #bertranddebilly #laurentpelly

Happy Friday, everyone! I wanted to start the weekend with something special that I hope you’ll enjoy! In celebration of the release of my new album “Into the fire” featuring Jake Heggie’s profound song cycle about Camille Claudel, I created this playlist featuring some of my favorite tracks of Jake’s music. 🎧 Link in bio. He is not only a dear friend, he also captures human emotions so beautifully in this writing and I am always stunned by his sheer abundance of music ideas, languages and styles. I have been fortunate enough to sing a lot of his music throughout my career and I have so many beautiful memories of each and every one of his works I performed. I will never forget the profound impact on everyone in the cast and in the audience for each performance of “Dead Man Walking” and the wonderful humanity and insight into the life of a performer in “Great Scott”. Jake’s songs are part of almost every recital I give and I hope to be able to share how special his music is, via this playlist I created for all of you! @warner_classics @applemusic

I’m in LOVE with performing #Berlioz with @monteverdi_choir_orchestras (#ORR). Add into the mix performing at the @bbc_proms and I’m positively done. My personal recommendation is that you tune in tonight for a rousing listen on @bbcradio3!!! #colormelucky #tragicdeathxtwo #berliozrocksmyworld

Thank you #Hamburg and the stunning @elbphilharmonie for such a warm welcome last night. Congratulations on the start of another stunning season. An even warmer debt of gratitude for the stunning Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique and Sir John Eliot Gardiner for divine, powerful music making. Cléopâtre has never suffered such a brutal death!! Look out, #London: you’re next!! @bbc_proms

Hello from Hamburg! I am thrilled to start the 2018/19 season with two concerts conducted by the legendary Sir John Eliot Gardiner​ and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, tonight at @elbphilharmonie Hamburg and on September 5 at the @bbc_proms in London. I will sing Didon’s death scene from Les Troyens and La mort de Cléopâtre. The next two months are all about #Berlioz for me and I could not be more excited to sing this gorgeous music. 📻 Our concert at the @royalalberthall on September 5 will also receive a live broadcast on @bbcradio3. I hope you all had a spectacular summer. I am very excited to start this new season and I look forward to seeing you at one of my performances! Photo: @chrissingerme

#shattered #glass #beautyinthebroken #geometry #viennaairport #timetofly #aspsawait @bbc_proms #hereicome #queencleo #speakingofshattered ...... 😎💋😎

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

~ Joyce DiDonato