Grammy WINNER for Best Classical Vocal Solo
New Yorker Best Classical Music Recordings of 2011
Time Out New York Best Classical Albums of 2011
Opera News Best Recital Discs Of 2011
Joyce DiDonato’s capacity for characterization is as astounding as the range and flexibility of her voice. As her Virgin Classics recitals of Handel and Rossini have proven, she can charm and touch as a good girl, seduce and seethe as a bad girl, and slip believably into the trousers of a hero. This new collection showcases DiDonato’s multi-faceted art – and the wealth of opportunities open to a mezzo-soprano – by presenting her as different characters, both male and female, from the same opera or from different musical treatments of the same story.
As DiDonato explains: “This recital celebrates the vast and fabulous world of the mezzo-soprano. Aside from the obvious Toscas or Cio-Cio Sans, I’ve never regretted the length of my vocal cords! I have the privilege and unmitigated joy of playing boys and young men, as well as girls and grown women … It’s an exploration of the human palette of emotions.”
The program features several roles that DiDonato has sung on stage – such as Rossini’s Cenerentola, Bellini’s Romeo, and Mozart’s Cherubino. The ‘flip sides’ of those characters are roles that have not featured in her repertoire: the Prince from Massenet’s; the Nurse from Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, and both Chérubin (from Massenet’s ‘sequel’ to Le nozze di Figaro) and Susanna. The Figaro connection continues with an excerpt from Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina, of course, later becomes Countess Almaviva), while other operas on the program, from the Renaissance to late Romanticism, include La clemenza di Tito (Sesto and Vitellia), Faust, La Damnation de Faust, Mefistofele, Orphée et Eurydice, Orfeo and Orphée aux Enfers.
Accompanying Joyce DiDonato in this tour de force is the Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Lyon under the company’s Principal Conductor Kazushi Ono, another artist who successfully embraces an extraordinary diversity of musical idioms.