Joyce DiDonato

Joyce as Divo and Diva

For the first time today I heard a new CD by one of my great favorite mezzo sopranos, Ms. Joyce DiDonato. What a terrific voice! Notice the rich, resonant, totally and astoundingly on pitch, no excuses singing of some of the greatest material ever written for the female voice.

And… we get such a creative program of performances of roles from male-sung parts (Divo), contrasted by female-sung parts (Diva). As such, Diva, Divo combines “trouser” roles with “skirt” arias from the same opera or story. So in versions of Cinderella by Massenet and Rossini, she sings both Prince Charming and the heroine. In Mozart’s Figaro she switches from Susanna to Cherubino, and displays her ambidexterity both as Bellini’s Romeo and Berlioz’s Juliet.

It’s so creative, as well as an ideal vehicle for DiDonato’s glorious mezzo voice in which the most difficult coloratura ornaments and trills sound clean as a bell, effortless, charming, and bright.

This CD was issued Jan. 25, 2011

Joyce DiDonato’s ability to create characters is as astounding as the range and flexibility of her voice. She can charm and touch you as a ‘good girl’, seduce and seethe as a ‘bad girl’, and slip believably into the trousers of a hero.

As Ms. DiDonato explains:

“I wanted to find a way to show this duality on disc, while highlighting some of the composers I’m most passionate about, such as Mozart, Bellini, Berlioz, Rossini, and Massenet. In exploring this idea, the possibility became clear for telling different sides of some of the most familiar tales which have served as inspiration for operatic legends: Cinderella, Faust, Romeo and Juliet … I’ve always thought of myself as a storyteller, and with this particular disc, I can showcase that side of me as never before. I’m ready to play!”

Accompanying Joyce DiDonato on this CD is the Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Lyon under the company’s Principal Conductor Kazushi Ono

Here’s the promotional video for Diva/Divo:

Tags: Joyce DiDonato, Divo Diva, Mozart Bellini, Berlioz, Rossini

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