DiDonato’s Magic

Joyce DiDonato: Drama Queens

  • Royal Arias from the 17th and 18th Centuries

In conjunction with the ensemble ‘Il Complesso Barocco’ conducted by Alan Curtis, singer Joyce DiDonato gives us a recital of Royal arias from the 17th and 18th centuries, featuring the well – known melodies of Handel, Haydn, Monteverdi and Vivaldi as well as the near – forgotten Orlandinii, Keiser, Hasse and Porta.

The selections are:


  • Intorno all’idol mio


  • Sposa, son disprezzata (from Merope)


  • Ah! Si la liberté me doit être ravie from Armide


  • Piangerò la sorte mia (from Giulio Cesare)
  • Ma quando tornerai (from Alcina)
  • Brilla nell’ alma un non inteso ancor (from Alessandro)

Hasse, J A:

  • Morte, col fiero aspetto (from Antonio e cleopatra)


  • Vedi, se t’amo (from Armida)


  • Lasciami piangere (from Fredegunda)
  • Geloso, sospetto (from Octavia)


  • Disprezzata regina (L’incoronazione di Poppea)


  • Da torbida procella (from Berenice)
  • Col versar barbaro il sangue (from Berenice)

Porta, G:

  • Madre diletta (from Ifigenia in aulide)

Vinci, Leonardo:

  • Tradita, sprezzata (from Semiramide)

Performed by Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano), with “Il Complesso Barocco”, conducted by Alan Curtis

Joyce DiDonato presents on this CD a newly themed recital, conceived in partnership with Alan Curtis, who also conducted her recordings of Handel’s Ariodante and Radamisto and her duet recital Amore e Gelosia with Patrizia Ciofi.


Joyce DiDonato said the following:

“For me, this is my most exciting recording project to date, because it is everything I deeply adore about the world of opera: high drama, profound emotion, fearless vocal writing, time-stopping passages, historical significance and real discovery. What more could I ask for?

“I wanted to return to this genre of music I love so deeply: the free, mysterious, profoundly moving world of Baroque opera, but to do it in the grandest fashion – from the throne of royalty! Each of the characters is a queen (or a sorceress, which equals queen in this fantastical world) … Well, we have allowed one princess, because the aria is completely unknown and it is simply too beautiful to be left out: ‘Madre diletta, abbracciami’ by Giovanni Porta [c1675-1755].

Conductor and musicologist Alan Curtis explains that: “Our Drama Queens are a motley group. Our idea was to cultivate extremes, to gather arias that show larger-than-life emotions. They range from noble, but sultry seductiveness, through the hysterically happy to vindictive despair and royal rage. The musical styles are also as varied as possible.”

The Times, on the 3rd of November, 2012 wrote:

“Coloratura runs are lightning fast, angry declamations hurled like thunderbolts — and limpid laments meltingly cooed. I don’t like DiDonato when she gets too shouty or adds “expressive” pitch-bends. But it’s all compellingly theatrical. Great choice, too, with familiar Handel mingled with rare jewels”

Here is the video trailer for this CD:




Here is Joyce Di Donato with “Sposa son disprezzata” from her new album, Drama Queens:



And here is Joyce DiDonato in “Fra il padre” from La donna del Lago




Tags: Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano, Drama Queens

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