“Joyce DiDonato is already an expert in this repertoire and offered a definitive performance. Her breath control is such that Handel’s melodic lines unspool like the finest velvet. The standout moment of the entire evening, from a musical point of view, was her unaccompanied, searching cadenza in ‘Lord, to Thee each night and day:’ a moment of hair-raising intimacy and softness.”


“One of the finest casts ever assembled for the work… musically this is breathtaking… [Orliński] sings ravishingly throughout, as does DiDonato: As With Rosy Steps the Morn is a thing of rapt, introverted pianissimos, exquisitely done.”

The Guardian

“The most multi-faceted singing of all is DiDonato’s: she can be vehement and quiet at the same time, both deeply compassionate and raptly inspired.”

Financial Times

“DiDonato’s understanding of how to construct a Handelian aria, together with complete mastery of timbre, accenting and phrasing, allows her to extract the maximum out of every note she sings. The prayer “Lord, to thee each night and day” was one highlight out of many.”


“Haendel a manifestement écrit différemment pour Caterina Galli (son Irene) que pour le rôle-titre. Pour celle-là, une grande partie du registre inférieur est protégé d’un groupe de continuo trop ambitieux, et Joyce DiDonato en joue pleinement, tenant et retenant incontestablement le public en haleine. Un exemple marquant parmi bien d’autres, “New scenes of joy come crowding” avec sa ligne arpégée d’ouverture bénéficie d’un contour finement formé et haletant (de caractère, nullement de voix) dans la cadence finale. DiDonato est en outre la seule interprète à s’investir pleinement dans les ornements marquant les reprises des arias da capo, offrant des envols étonnants de fantaisie musicale et d’improvisation. Pourtant, l’effet le plus puissant est provoqué par ses sections chantées pianissimo.”


“In all of Irene’s arias, Joyce DiDonato brings both humanity and musical sincerity to the foreground, through her varied tone colour, sensitive ornamentation and because her musical authority is such that we are drawn, no compelled, to listen to the music.  ‘Lord, to thee each day and night’ made time – and everything else – stand still.”

Opera Today

“The spiritual side of Christianity, by contrast, is entrusted to her friend Irene, played by Joyce DiDonato. When she sings (which she does with beguiling gentleness and beauty) it’s as if the plot freezes and we are transported into timeless rituals of baptism and celebration.

The Times

“…the matchless DiDonato, decorating her fabulous arias with ornament reminiscent of gospel music, delivers showstopper after showstopper with grace.”

Culture Whisper

“All-star casting starts with Joyce DiDonato’s Irene – staunch, unyielding, pausing time and (mercifully) movement in cadenzas where everything falls away and finally music does what it should”


“The cast is exceptional… Joyce DiDonato’s grave, compassionate Irene stood out… DiDonato’s voice is darker and more wide-grained than I remember it; she’s at that point in a great singer’s career where even the voice’s acquired patina can be made to illuminate character.”

The Spectator

“Joyce DiDonato’s performance of heartfelt clarity likewise challenged one to imagine it sung otherwise.”

Seen and Heard International

“The outstanding cast, especially Joyce DiDonato… sang with controlled beauty and their commitment to every dramatic intention was absolute.”

The Stage

“Joyce DiDonato sings all Irene’s arias with superb control of line and tone colour. Deeply moving she is too”

Evening Standard

“Bullock and DiDonato sang with passion and intensity, a superb pairing of two fine artists. The soprano’s mournful, floated account of ‘With darkness deep’ wrenched the heart; her mezzo-soprano colleague invested Irene’s ‘As with rosy steps the mon0, an aria that in simpler hands can easily chug along, with rhapsodic emotion and a hushed legato of immense beauty.”

Opera Magazine