by Jenny Camilleri

“[DiDonato] performed the desperate “Scherza infida”, with gorgeous bassoon tears, and the vengeance cry “Svegliatevi nel core” as one scene, without applause in-between. Limbs atremble, she was a mass of impotent rage, varying the repeated sections of the arias with expressive simplicity. In an equally intense “Parto, parto” by Mozart, DiDonato crowned a fabulous duet with Julien Hervé on the basset clarinet with dazzling coloratura.

…DiDonato returned after the break, in a stunning gown shot with gold, to sing the melting romanza from Bellini’s Adelson e Salvini.  She then became a self-assured, ebullient Rosina in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Giving a delighted Nézet-Séguin conspiratorial looks, she made the audience roar at her head-spinning dexterity in “Una voce poco fa.”