San Francisco Chronicle
by Steven Winn
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Last fall, when the news hit, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato knew another recital program, no matter how artful, just wouldn’t do. “The November (2015) attacks in Paris prompted a complete change of program from another project,” she said recently. “I felt the need to comment on the world I live in in a more direct way.”

Organizing a set of Baroque arias along thematic lines, the Kansas City area native has joined forces with conductor Maxim Emelyanychev’s period-instrument ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, stage director Ralf Pleger and choreographer-dancer Manuel Palazzo to fashion “In War and Peace: Harmony Through Music,” a semi-theatricalized concert production that plays Friday, Dec. 2, at Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall and next Sunday, Dec. 4, at Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.

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