“DiDonato dazzles in La Donna del Lago” at Santa Fe Opera
Joyce lit up the Santa Fe Opera stage with her spectacular portrayal of Elena in Rossini’s La Donna del Lago:
“Ms. DiDonato’s performance as Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake is indisputably great, both vocally and dramatically.”
James Oestreich – The New York Times
“Romantic action took place more in the longings of the characters than in the physical world, nowhere more fully than in the Elena of Joyce DiDonato. Perhaps no other singer today so completely captures the spirit of Rossinian bel canto, with technical precision intact, as does DiDonato.
As with her great nineteenth-century predecessors — Colbran, Pasta, Malibran — DiDonato’s voice is not limited by categories of vocal type. It soars like a lyric soprano and explores depths normally assumed to be the realm of the contralto. There is a warm patch of vibrato in her middle range that, aligned with her formidable powers of characterization, she uses to ground her character in the reality of human experience. […] her finale, delivered to an audience still rapt after three demanding hours, offered some of the most glorious bel canto singing I have heard. Operagoers live for moments like this.”
Simon Williams – Opera News
“The piece requires singers skilled in the strenuous demands of bel canto vocal style, artists who can negotiate rapid figuration by the furlong, passing seamlessly from their highest notes to their lowest and vice-versa (dauntingly difficult), apportioning the countless tiny notes of these roulades to clarify an overarching phrase. DiDonato did not sing a measure all evening that failed to proclaim mastery of this style.
From the very opening notes of her entrance aria, “O, mattutini albori!” she rendered everything with complete security. DiDonato offered everything opera aficionados have grown to expect of her, her voice proving rich but never heavy, her broad dynamic range projecting clearly even when soft, and her stamina seeing her through with unwavering security through to her dazzling rondo-finale, the famous “Tanti affetti,” in which she offered some superbly executed trills — something we hear rarely.”
James Keller – The Santa Fe New Mexican
“[DiDonato] is nothing short of definitive – and not to be missed.”
S. Crafts – Albuquerque Journal