“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.”
“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
“The appearance of Joyce DiDonato, combined with her important political message was an absolute highlight.”
Read the entire article on Billboard.
“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 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)?”
“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)
“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.