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.”

This isn’t self-evident. DiDonato is a wonderful singer, but that doesn’t always guarantee a packed house for a baroque opera lasting nearly four hours. Those who made it all the way through the third act were amply rewarded: not only did DiDonato deliver, but the rest of the cast did, too. Is concert opera the true future of opera? Many of the most exciting performances I’ve experienced recently have happened without sets or costumes …

There are few singers more committed than DiDonato, but she manages the alchemy of converting dogged hard work into pure artistry. Even with this strong cast, she remained a step above the others, sending out her voice in long, clear, radiant lines of pure music that repeatedly, and deservedly, stopped the show.”