“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.”
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.
That this is no ordinary concert is clear before even entering the auditorium. On the programme stands there are cards for everyone in the audience, inviting answers to the question ‘in the midst of chaos, how do you find peace?’
Joyce DiDonato, touring with period-instrument ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, has themed this concert ‘In War and Peace: Harmony Through Music’. Once inside, the lighting is low, there is a smudge of dry ice in the air, and there is the singer herself, seated statue-like at the rear of the stage while at the front a male figure lies on the ground, his body twisted like a torso from a baroque painting.
Music can express different emotional states, as well as be a kind of commentary on a nowadays world’s events.. It has a special power, that almost every musician tries to catch and deliver to the audience. And there is one person, who actually takes up the effort to make it more real and to achieve peace through music. And, she makes you believe, that it is possible.
And it was just like this, on 30th May in Berliner Philharmonie with Joyce DiDonato and Il Pomo d’Oro. There was a concert from the tour: “War and peace, harmony through music”. But word “concert” is just insufficient. It was more than a concert, or just a “performance”. Joyce took us on a journey with mythological heroines, baroque truth and reality …
Seen and Heard International
by José M. Irurzun
There was a long speech by the artist at the end where she expressed her concerns about the current situation in the world, including what happens in her own country, which was very well received by the audience.
Ms. DiDonato opened with Storgé’s aria from Handel’s Jephta, which served to warm up her voice, and then moved on to a brilliant interpretation of ‘Prendi quel ferro’ from Leonardo Leo’s Andromaca. She was magnificent in the famous ‘Remember me’ which ends Dido and Aeneas, followed by Agrippina’s aria from the eponymous Handel opera. The first half of the concert ended with a moving interpretation of the well-known ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ from Handel’s Rinaldo.
“It was supposed to be one of the highlights of the classical season — and it actually was. Whatever it takes to create a sense of event and excitement was in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Tuesday night for the star turn of mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in Handel’s “Ariodante.”
The renaissance of baroque opera in America shows no signs of slowing down: Carnegie Hall on Sunday afternoon saw a sold-out performance of a four-hour Handel opera, in which Harry Bicket’s English Concert and Joyce DiDonato gave a performance so stunning it was liable to make even the most jaded of early-music skeptics take note …
In the middle of Handel’s “Ariodante,” the title character makes an uncomfortably convincing case for suicide. On Sunday, the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, singing the role in a concert performance of the opera with the conductor Harry Bicket and his English Concert chamber orchestra, held Carnegie Hall’s audience in thrall for nearly nine minutes as she wrung every bit of emotion from this music.
“With Didon, Joyce DiDonato continues the exploration of the great roles of the French repertoire recently initiated with Charlotte in Werther … Faced with this recent challenge, the singer finds unknown expressive resources, using changes of timbre to express the horrors in which the Queen of Carthage struggled. The abandoned woman then converses with the outraged queen in a scene of epic grandeur …”