In honor of Houston Grand Opera’s 60th anniversary season, the Houston Grand Opera is holding a special concert featuring Joyce DiDonato with Patrick Summers, the HGO Orchestra, and HGO Studio Artists. I got the chance to ask DiDonato a few questions about her ties to Houston and the HGO.
BWW: You’re in New York now [performing in LA DONNA DEL LAGO at the MET]. You’ll be traveling to Houston afterwards. Then you’re jetting off to Germany. In other interviews, you’ve mentioned the difficulty of the opera life, including its nomadism. Has it gotten any easier?
Joyce DiDonato: In many ways it has, because I’ve adjusted to the demands, and simply knowing the scope of the pressure and the possible stress means I’m ahead of the curve. But at the same time, your body needs the time to adjust to new time zones, and there is no prescription for the modern woes of cramped airplanes and security lines!
BWW: Speaking of busy schedules, how have you found time to prepare for this concert?!
Joyce DiDonato: Happily, the Maestro and I have chosen a program that highlights some of my “hits” which means they are firmly in my head and voice. It will be a thrill to bring these pieces which I love and know very well to my old stomping grounds at HGO on such an important occasion!
BWW: Are you excited to be returning to Houston? I’m curious about your impressions of the city. Do you have any favorite spots to visit?
Joyce DiDonato: I’m thrilled and to help this opera company that has been so formative in my career, and the lives of so many colleagues and patrons! Of course I will have to visit the original Ninfa’s, and if I have a free hour, I’d love to get back to the zoo and see the lemurs I love! (I have some amazing photos of them from the past years!)