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

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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“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.”

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

~ Joyce DiDonato