“Most brilliant of all was mezzo Joyce DiDonato as the anguished Sesto. She daringly imposed vast contrasts of volume and tempo upon the most famous aria from this score, “Parto, parto,” transitioning from an almost murmured slow section to a quicksilver conclusion. The elaborate triplet melismas were not only crystal-clear but achingly expressive of the character’s overwrought emotional state.”

The Observer

“In the dazzling aria “Parto, parto,” Ms. DiDonato vividly rendered the moment at which her character, buffeted by hope and despair, snaps into action and commits to the conspiracy plan. The subtle electric charge that went through the house at that moment was yet another reminder that she is one the great singer‑actors of our time.”

The New York Times

“Foremost among the singers, perhaps, was Joyce DiDonato, the American mezzo, who sang the part of Sesto. Though the cast was well balanced, Tito threatened to become The Joyce DiDonato Show. She was in top form, with a beautiful voice, secure technique, and dramatic flair.”

The New Criterion

“In the trouser-role of his friend Sesto, Joyce DiDonato displays brightness and sureness of technique and gives a thoroughly gripping portrayal – highly composed in Act One, then fraught with emotion. Their scenes together are convincing and moving.”

Classical Source

“Polenzani’s singing was balanced with that of mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who sang Sesto. Like the tenor, she used a widely varied range of dynamics and articulation to shape her phrases. DiDonato is relatively small in stature, and her counterparts Annio (mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo) and Vitellia (soprano Elza van den Heever) towered over her physically, while her voice still dominated the space around her.”

New York Classical Review

“While the cast for the season’s revival of Mozart’s LA CLEMENZA DI TITO looked good on paper, it didn’t even hint at how good the singing was going to be at the Met this week. From top–tenor Matthew Polenzani, elegant and vibrant in the title role (“Se all’impero”), and the great mezzo Joyce DiDonato as Sesto (who delivers the opera’s “hit” aria, “Parto, parto,” and more in opulent style)…”

Broadway World

“Joyce DiDonato’s Sesto moved from youthful exuberance to guilt so crushing he could barely stand. Small nuances – like Sesto’s stumble out of sight and then rigidly erect public posture on his march to execution – heightened the emotion. DiDonato’s singing astounded, too, from the speed and ease of the triplets in “Parto, parto” to the beautiful and thoughtful ornamentation of “Deh, per questo istante solo.””

Classical Voice America

“Joyce DiDonato was singing the central role of Sesto, Tito’s close friend who betrays him for his love of Vitellia… her musicality, style and commitment was on abundant display, and her two arias, “Parto, parto” and “Deh per questo istante solo”, both sung with Sesto’s heartfelt sincerity and devotion. As her voice soared in desperation and sadness, DiDonato brought down the house.”


“Joyce DiDonato sang elegantly and touchingly as Sesto”

Opera Magazine