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

Ariodante / Carnegie Hall

Opera News
by David Shengold
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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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Joyce DiDonato at National Concert Hall

GoldenPlec
by Michael Lee
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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.

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Joyce DiDonato in Berlin: A harmony through music

Opera World

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 …

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A Magnificent Joyce DiDonato at the Teatro Real

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.

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“A long and luminous evening of opera lives up to expectations” – ‘Ariodante’ at The Kennedy Center

The Washington Post
by Anne Midgette
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“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.”

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DiDonato leads an inspired cast in sensational “Ariodante” at Carnegie

New York Classical Review
by Eric C. Simpson
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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 …

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26 Jul

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

~ Joyce DiDonato