“Best are the “Donnas”, the finest pairing since Sutherland and Schwarzkopf. […] if there is a greater Elvira on disc than Joyce DiDonato, I’d love to hear her.
In this notoriously tough role to cast, DiDonato catches everything: the craziness, the desperation, the sadness (“Ah, taci ingiusto core” is gorgeous). She also catches all the notes, from top to bottom, fast, slow, long and short, all sung with a commitment that is fabulously intense. Her second-soprano sound never has been used to better effect: a perfect performance.” ~ Robert Levine Classics Today October 2012
“If ever a mezzo-soprano could rival the mixture of attraction, revulsion, and downright hysteria that make soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s many recorded accounts of Donna Elvira iconic, it’s DiDonato. Totally secure on top, she not only launches into arias such as “Ah! chi mi dice mai” with unbridled rage, but also manages to express Elvira’s extremely vulnerable side. Under Nézet-Séguin, DiDonato’s portrayal constantly amazes for her ability to sing so forcefully, yet with such consistent beauty of tone.
Nézet-Séguin’s apt tempos, plus his use of recitative and period-authentic embellishment to illuminate the inner workings of his characters, make this recording indispensible.” ~ Jason Victor Serinus San Francisco Classical Voice October 2012
“Both the ‘Donnas’ are thrillingly sung, full of nuance and vocal drama that leaps out of the speakers: Joyce DiDonato conveys both Elvira’s fury and her fragility within the first minute of her music […] the upper reaches of what’s usually considered a soprano role hold no terrors for DiDonato.” ~ Katherine Cooper Presto Classical September 2012
“Joyce DiDonato paints a gripping portrait of Donna Elvira.” ~ NDR Kultur
“This live concert CD is one of the best recordings ever made of Mozart’s masterpiece – and that’s saying a lot with more than 130 listings currently available. It’s a performance that comes through as cogent drama in which the music enhances the theatrical situation. […] Joyce DiDonato, a mezzo Donna Elvira, seems to relish the jagged lines of this on-the-edge character, along with the technical challenges of her grand scena, Mi tradi.” ~ Pittsburgh Gazette October 2012
“DiDonato takes ‘Mi tradì’ down a half tone, still the aria’s treacherous arpeggiations have never, in my experience, been sung more accurately; it’s as if the melody had been handed to a virtuoso clarinetist. DiDonato’s beauty of tone throughout makes on wonder how the Don could so cavalierly abandon this Elvira.” ~ Fred Cohn Opera News December 2012