Opera Reviews

“Joyce DiDonato’s performance as Donizetti’s Mary Queen of Scots leaves one bereft of adequate superlatives . . . bel canto of this quality has not been heard at Covent Garden for more than a generation and that on the strength of this night alone, her name should rank in the operatic pantheon alongside the greatest legends of the past.”

– Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Opera Review: ‘Cendrillon’

The Epoch Times
by Barry Bassis

Joyce DiDonato shines as the French Cinderella … Jules Massenet’s 1899 fairy tale opera “Cendrillon” (Cinderella) finally arrived at the Metropolitan Opera. It was clearly ladies’ night on stage with the glorious mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in the title role and mostly other divas, including another mezzo, Alice Coote, as Prince Charming.

Joyce DiDonato looks and sounds perfect for the role, which she has been playing around the world since 2006. She first sang it in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a production directed by Laurent Pelly and that is the enchanting production at the Met. Pelly is also the costume designer.

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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‘Dead Man Walking’ / Teatro Real

“Joyce DiDonato is superb as Sister Helen Prejean … Even listening to DiDonato’s 2012 recording with Houston Grand Opera, it is the human drama that hooks us in. (Her latest album, Great Scott, also by Heggie and McNally, indicates her loyalty to their work.) Heggie writes generously, if traditionally, for the voice. Pouring her heart out at top volume, DiDonato sounded as if she could have gone on effortlessly for a good few hours more.”

Fiona Maddocks – The Guardian

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“Best of 2017” Highlights

The Guardian – 10 Best Performances

Semiramide: Royal Opera House
Grand opera in grand style, with the grandest of divas, Joyce DiDonato.

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Joyce DiDonato “fiery and sensuous” as Semiramide at the Royal Opera House

“DiDonato inhabits the role of the doomed Queen Semiramide with an ease and a generosity towards her fellow performers that looks likely to set a benchmark for future productions.”

William Ward – The Arts Desk

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“DiDonato provides the sparks” in new ‘Norma’ at The Met

“Her partner for many of those duets was Joyce DiDonato, whose performance as the romantic rival Adalgisa provided yet more evidence–as if we needed any–of her status as a supreme bel canto stylist. Her technique as firm as bedrock, she built a gripping character on her fiery vocal interpretation. Her confession to Norma in the Act I duet “Sola, furtiva al tempio” showed palpable sorrow, and a special urgency, as she sang every word as though it were the most important in the libretto.”

Eric C. Simpson – New York Classical Review

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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

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 “wowed” at Metropolitan Opera 50th Anniversary Gala at Lincoln Center

“Joyce DiDonato wowed with endless coloratura fireworks as Semiramide …”

Ilana Walder-Biesanz – Opera-Online

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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