“[W]ith a brilliant cast of bel canto specialists in key roles, the production that premiered Thursday night is a rare feast for the ear…Perhaps best of all, American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato sang Isolier with luxuriant tone and dazzling agility — and made one wish the role were bigger.”

~ Mike Silverman for The Associated Press March 2011

“The first-class work of tenor and soprano notwithstanding, one could make a case that the greatest triumph of the evening belonged to DiDonato, whose vibrant singing and fresh, unaffected acting transformed the comprimario assignment of Isolier, Ory’s love-hungry page, into a principal role: the mezzo’s presence was so vivid in ensemble that one almost forgot that Rossini neglected to give Isolier a proper solo turn. In the Act II trio for Ory, Adèle and Isolier — in which the three characters engage in a discreet tumble of mistaken identities in the countess’s bedchamber — DiDonato’s impeccable taste and physical dexterity elevated the somewhat threadbare staging provided her.”

~ F Paul Driscoll Opera News June 2011

© Marty Sohl for the Metropolitan Opera

“[…] DiDonato, who as the page Isolier gave her usual consummate performance, voice shining and true, character every inch the very young man he is supposed to be.”

~ Anne Midgette The Washington Post March 2011

“The most astonishing scene comes toward the end of Act II. Adèle has bonded with Isolier, Ory’s page, triumphantly performed by Ms. DiDonato, who sang with plush sound and impeccable passagework; sent top notes soaring; and conveyed all the swagger of a smitten page.”

~ Anthony Tomassini The New York Times March 2011

“Not so Isolier, the Cherubino of the opera. In DiDonato’s portrayal, the page is quivering with feeling, impetuous and passionate, sensitive and naïve. With her warm, flexible mezzo, DiDonato made him the pivotal character whose innocence, wit and emotional honesty breathe human warmth into the farce.”

~ The Classical Review March 2011

“Quibbles with the staging aside, this was truly a singer’s production. For bel canto purposes, it doesn’t get much better than having Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez (pictured) all onstage at the same time. Mezzo-soprano and Rossinian expert Joyce DiDonato was easily the brightest star of the production, shining in the sadly underwritten role of the page Isolier.”

~ Olivia Giovetti WQXR March 2011

“Joyce DiDonato, who strutted her spiffy stuff in the trousers of the amorous page Isolier, conquers every ornate hurdle with suavity that takes away our breath if not hers.” ~ Martin Bernheimer Financial Times March 2011

© Marty Sohl for the Metropolitan Opera