Joyce DiDonato … with pianist David Zobel, chose an enchantingly quixotic programme of love songs in Italian, from Caccini to Pizzetti. Despite the flat, unhelpful lighting, this vivacious soprano, a natural stage animal, drew her audience in with her musical generosity, intelligence and esprit.
– Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, August, 2010
What turned out be a weekend of stellar voices continued with song recitals by DiDonato and Simon Keenlyside, at the Usher and Queen’s Hall respectively. DiDonato’s recital of all-Italian songs – including four ariettas by Beethoven – with David Zobel, her excellent pianist, proved somewhat less challenging but even more enjoyable. This was an unashamed display of vocal bravura by a prima donna in her pomp, a repeat of September 2008’s Wigmore Hall programme – ranging from cod-baroque arie antiche to art-songs by post-verismo late Romantics. In the large hall, her consonants occasionally went Awol, but the singing was breathtaking.
She ended both halves with operatic scenes from her trademark composer, Rossini: Desdemona’s Willow Song from Otello, and Elena’s Tanti affetti from La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake), given as an encore and a festival-friendly tribute to Sir Walter Scott, brought the house down. What I loved best was her ravishing account of Cherubino’s Voi che sapete from Mozart’s Figaro – Edinburgh can’t have heard its like since Teresa Berganza, the great Spanish mezzo, sang the role at the King’s Theatre in the late 1970s.
– Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, August, 2010