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

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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“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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Review: Joyce DiDonato Is Wrenching in Handel’s ‘Ariodante’

The New York Times
by Anthony Tommasini
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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.

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Berlioz’ ‘Les Troyens’ in Strasbourg

“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 …”

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Joyce DiDonato is “regal” and “riveting” in role debut as Semiramide

“On February 12, at the first evening of its new Semiramide production in the Nationaltheater, Bavarian State Opera proved itself more than equal to the challenge of finding an ideal cast for a work that depends on the virtuosity of its singers for its success. Joyce DiDonato’s enormous talent is unparalleled in today’s opera world; she has the allure of a true diva without the baggage associated with that word. Her regal bearing spoke volumes, her emotional involvement in the title role was riveting and her brilliant coloratura took one’s breath away. DiDonato’s “Bel raggio lusinghier” brought down the house in Act I, and she amazed and stupefied her audience throughout the entire evening.”

Jeffrey A. Leipsic – Opera News

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Making Babylon great again: DiDonato shines in musically spectacular Semiramide in Munich

Bachtrack
by Laura Servidei

“Joyce DiDonato is making her role debut as Semiramide in this production. It was written for Isabella Colbran, an alto with great extension, but has been hijacked by coloratura sopranos since the Rossini Renaissance. Today, it sounds strange to hear a mezzo singing it. Her interpretation was extremely dramatic and intense. Hers is a troubled, broken queen, whose old crime (her husband’s murder) has marked her whole existence. She hopes against all odds to find happiness by marrying the young warrior Arsace, only to be hurled into the middle of a Freudian nightmare (Arsace turns out to be her son). Her vocal performance was brilliant, marked by a wonderful legato and sparkling coloratura – every asset of a true bel canto artist … her performance was astounding.”

Joyce DiDonato is “outstanding” in role debut as Semiramide at the Bayerische Staatsoper

“Joyce DiDonato is outstanding as Semiramide: her sound can be soft and melting, she sings angrily to her adversaries along the wall and while suffering is barely audible in her pianissimo. A great achievement.”

{Überragend Joyce DiDonato als Semiramide: Weich und schmelzend kann sie klingen, ihre Widersacher wütend an die Wand singen und kaum hörbar im pianissimo leiden. Eine großartige Leistung.}

Bernhard Neuhoff – BR-Klassik

Critical acclaim for Joyce DiDonato’s stage debut as Charlotte in Royal Opera House production of ‘Werther’

“It’s emphatically a romance, albeit a tragic one, complete with solo strings that echo and double the on-stage nearly-but-not-quite-lovers. But in DiDonato and Grigolo’s hands it’s something much darker.

DiDonato’s Charlotte was always going to be fascinating. How would a singer of such energy, such an active force on stage, tackle a character whose defining characteristic is not doing – not kissing Werther (until too later), not defying her mother’s wishes, not allowing herself to feel or act on her desires?

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

~ Joyce DiDonato