Concert Reviews

“DRAMA QUEENS is an ace of an evening for any venue! Indeed, the experience enters my own personal treasure chest of extraordinary performances in past decades, with names such as Schwarzkopf, Fischer-Dieskau, Vickers, Nilsson and Callas topping the list..”

– The Opera Critic

Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato Performs Recital at Granada

Santa Barbara Independent
by Charles Donelan

Two things became clear on the whirlwind tour through multiple languages, countries, and centuries that was Joyce DiDonato’s recital program at the Granada on Sunday, April 15: This woman loves to sing, and she loves singers. The evening’s eclecticism remained firmly grounded throughout in the deep connection that DiDonato feels for students of voice. From the opening strains of Pablo Luna’s lovelorn celebration of Spanish identity, “De España vengo,” to the rambunctious embellishments of Arie Antiche’s musical education standards as arranged by pianist Craig Terry, everything on the program seemed designed to appeal to an audience familiar with the arduous, at times heartbreaking journey of a classically trained vocalist.

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Dead Man Walking / Barbican

“With a line-up of such first-class singers, vocal delivery was consistently excellent. Joyce DiDonato, reprising the role of Sister Helen, displayed a magnificent range of emotions, capturing frustration, piety, simplicity, anger and, above all, humanity.”

MusicOMH

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Concert at Wigmore Hall: “beauty and range of a voice at its peak”

“The power of a diva at the top of her game is an impressive thing. Joyce DiDonato has sold out the Wigmore Hall twice this week, which may not seem surprising except that she is doing it with a programme that is far from populist… Even more impressive is the intelligence and boldness with which she deploys it.”

Richard Morrison – The Times

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Billboard: Joyce DiDonato named female singer of the year for “In War & Peace”

“The appearance of Joyce DiDonato, combined with her important political message was an absolute highlight.”

Read the entire article on Billboard.

Les Troyens / Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg

“Joyce DiDonato arrived as Didon in Act III looking every inch the queen of Carthage, acknowledging her people with straight backed authority without losing a delicate feminine sadness over her solitude. Her blossoming relationship with the Énée of tenor Michael Spyres brought a duet of overwhelming sensuality … Just when “reserved” and “elegant” seemed apt words to describe DiDonato, the mezzo seized on the drama of the final act to unfurl a torrent of lustrous tone and unbridled commitment to set her performance of the Carthaginian queen beside the great interpreters of the role.”

Stephen J. Mudge – Opera News

Ariodante / Carnegie Hall

Opera News
by David Shengold
View Article

Ariodante on Carnegie Hall’s main stage on April 30featured a soaring, energized Joyce DiDonato and a uniformly strong cast under Harry Bicket’s expert direction. Listening to the thunderous ovations during and after the opera, one hoped that the managements of New York’s two leading opera companies would see from the wild success of Bicket’s local appearances with his English Concert that Handel has not only superb exponents these days but a highly motivated public who will travel and buy seats to hear his works.

The English Concert is just terrific—a fleet and accurate Baroque ensemble fully responsive here to the vocalism they supported. Bicket led from the harpsichord, which he played with great conviction. All the continuo players performed admirably; but one leaves Ariodante remembering the bassoon, and Alberto Grazzi handled his portion of the stop-time miracle of “Scherza infida” as deftly and expressively as did DiDonato, who blended bitterly enunciated consonants with seemingly endless breath support and legato ease. The mezzo sounded in peak form from her first mellow arioso, “Qui d’amor,” and gave a generous, deeply chiseled and resonantly projected reading of one of her great assumptions. For such heartfelt artistry and beauty of tone in such technically and psychologically remarkable music, what could one offer but grateful smiles (with a healthy admixture of tears)?”

La clemenza di Tito, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

“What a Sesto: Joyce DiDonato is an exceptional mezzo soprano: just as sensitive as it is moving, she crafts her arias with both variation and spritely coloratura.”

Alexander Dick – Badische Zeitung

“As Sesto, Joyce DiDonato brought a fresh interpretation to the role, in respect to both her musicality and interpretation….her Sesto was believable with both vocal commitment and commitment to the character, and her voice followed her intentions with aplomb down to the last detail. As with the other singers, the recitatives were full of life, either introspective, or interactive with the other singers, thereby contributing to the overall drama of the evening.  Her two important arias, ” Parto, parto, ma tu ben mio” in Act I and  “Deh per questo instante solo”  in Act II, were clearly well thought out, and were greeted with a standing ovation from the audience.”

Michel Thomé – ResMusica (translated from the original in French)

Joyce DiDonato at Gran Teatre del Liceu

“La mezzo de Kansas ha arribat a un punt de maduresa en el que pot prescindir de l’ortodòxia del cant o del so i, si ha de sacrificar-la per l’expressivitat, ho fa sense recança, per fortuna nostra. Una veritable exhibició de talent i personalitat.”

Antoni Colomer – Núvol

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Joyce DiDonato’s concert at the National Concert Hall, Dublin

The Side Balcony

Have you ever seen a world renowned opera singer sitting patiently at the back corner of the stage for a good fifteen minutes while waiting for the audience to fill the auditorium? The term “anti-diva” as epithet of Joyce DiDonato has been used extensively, but really that’s the first appellative coming to mind when entering in contact with her extraordinary presence. All about her is genuine passion for her job, and no trace of a primadonna demeanor.

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We will remember it, as well!! https://t.co/YTp5KRyCLU

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Thank you, Nicola! https://t.co/K5KQ9KgBPI

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Thank you so much, Steffi. We are so happy it was such a profound experience for you. https://t.co/a3imVhW4cN

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In the midst of #chaos, how do you find #peace? #inwarandpeace #talkpeace #dopeace #bepeace @ilpdo

Bon Dia, World!!! Back on tour from today with #inwarandpeace, ready to pick up our quest for harmony!! @fcgulbenkian @ilpdo #vivaportugal #TalkPeace #DoPeace #BePeace

What glorious human beings. It was he privilege of a lifetime to honor this amazing woman, Frederica Von Stade, recognizing the priceless contributions she makes to her community and to the world last night in San Francisco. Of course, it couldn’t have happened without the tireless and ever-inspiring Jake Heggie. I floated out of there convinced the love in that room (and the amazing young talent) can save the world!!! #ibelieve #musicismagic #SANFRANSISCOCOMMUNITYMUSICCENTER

What an unforgettable experience, bringing Massenet’s storybook opera #Cendrillon to the stage of the @metopera for the first time in its storied history. It has been a dream to sing about love while surrounded by so much of it - from the cast and crew, to the @metoperachorus, @metorchestra, to YOU the audience, who laughed and cried with us all. I’ll never tire of this story, a wonderful balm for the world. A billion thanks to everyone involved, most especially my #PrinceCharming, @alice.coote! #OperaIsMagic #happilyeverafter #firstandprobablylastmetstageselfie

#Cinderella #Red #Couture #OperaRocks #OperaFashion @metopera @metoperasupers @metoperachorus There are no words to describe the joy that has been this show. Merçi a tous!!!!!

#sisters and #fairies and #gowns, OH MY!!!!!

#howtobackstage @metopera @metoperachorus #cendrillon #thriller? #operaismagic #operaiswhack

#cinders.......time to say goodbye.....😭😭😭

What a bunch of #disruptors!! Loved being honored as one of them last night at the inspiring @nationalsawdust gala. (It also felt like #prom with the tireless and innovative @arcostanzo!) And for the record? @esperanzaspalding is #everything. So is #TerrenceMcNally - as soulful a disruptor as ever there was!!!! @elenalumahai @tomkirdahy #creation #arttransforms #shakeyourselfupfromtheinside

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

~ Joyce DiDonato