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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In the midst of #chaos, how do you find #peace? #inwarandpeace #talkpeace #dopeace #bepeace @ilpdo

Bon Dia, World!!! Back on tour from today with #inwarandpeace, ready to pick up our quest for harmony!! @fcgulbenkian @ilpdo #vivaportugal #TalkPeace #DoPeace #BePeace

What glorious human beings. It was he privilege of a lifetime to honor this amazing woman, Frederica Von Stade, recognizing the priceless contributions she makes to her community and to the world last night in San Francisco. Of course, it couldn’t have happened without the tireless and ever-inspiring Jake Heggie. I floated out of there convinced the love in that room (and the amazing young talent) can save the world!!! #ibelieve #musicismagic #SANFRANSISCOCOMMUNITYMUSICCENTER

What an unforgettable experience, bringing Massenet’s storybook opera #Cendrillon to the stage of the @metopera for the first time in its storied history. It has been a dream to sing about love while surrounded by so much of it - from the cast and crew, to the @metoperachorus, @metorchestra, to YOU the audience, who laughed and cried with us all. I’ll never tire of this story, a wonderful balm for the world. A billion thanks to everyone involved, most especially my #PrinceCharming, @alice.coote! #OperaIsMagic #happilyeverafter #firstandprobablylastmetstageselfie

#Cinderella #Red #Couture #OperaRocks #OperaFashion @metopera @metoperasupers @metoperachorus There are no words to describe the joy that has been this show. Merçi a tous!!!!!

#sisters and #fairies and #gowns, OH MY!!!!!

#howtobackstage @metopera @metoperachorus #cendrillon #thriller? #operaismagic #operaiswhack

#cinders.......time to say goodbye.....😭😭😭

What a bunch of #disruptors!! Loved being honored as one of them last night at the inspiring @nationalsawdust gala. (It also felt like #prom with the tireless and innovative @arcostanzo!) And for the record? @esperanzaspalding is #everything. So is #TerrenceMcNally - as soulful a disruptor as ever there was!!!! @elenalumahai @tomkirdahy #creation #arttransforms #shakeyourselfupfromtheinside

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

~ Joyce DiDonato