Tag Archives: Joyce DiDonato

Semiramide, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, November 2017

For a Rossini work not staged by the Royal Opera in over 150 years this revival may seem a brave move, but Antonio Pappano in the orchestra pit and the superb cast of singers made it a musical treat. Even better than the excellent BBC Proms concert performance of 2016, which featured two of the …

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Werther, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, June 2016

After recently witnessing a famous opera contaminated by a director desperate to make his mark, it was a pleasure to relax into the comforting common sense of a production that serves both story and music. This fine revival of Benoît Jacquot’s very successful 2011 production by Andrew Sinclair sees a few changes. The persistently intrusive …

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Maria Stuarda, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, July 2014

In forty to fifty years time young audience members may take pride in saying they once saw Joyce DiDonato as Maria Stuarda. She was sensational, and when it was over and the curtain rose to reveal her centre stage, the thunderous applause was followed by huge cheers for other cast members until the production team …

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La Cenerentola, Metropolitan Opera, Metopera live cinema relay, 10 May 2014

For those who tend to go to first nights, an advantage of these Met cinema screenings is the welcome unity they provide between conductor and singers who have already performed on stage several times together. Under the baton of Fabio Luisi the singers were very much at one with the orchestra, providing Rossini’s music with …

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La Donna del Lago, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, May 2013

Two tenors love the same soprano — Elena, the Lady of the Lake — but she ends up with her beloved mezzo, Malcolm. The tenors, Uberto, really King James V of Scotland, and Highland Chieftain Rodrigo, are politically and militarily opposed, and though Elena’s father Duglas insists she marry Rodrigo, he is conveniently killed and …

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Maria Stuarda, Metropolitan Opera live cinema relay, January 2013

Finally the Met have staged Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, an 1835 opera based on the play by Schiller written in 1800, where Mary Queen of Scots meets Elizabeth I of England. The meeting never took place, but the play makes for super drama, and the opera provides for some wonderful singing, with the two queens backed up and egged …

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Ernani, Metropolitan Opera live cinema relay, February 2012

After Verdi’s first four operas were premiered at La Scala, La Fenice in Venice commissioned the fifth, and the composer eventually plumped for Victor Hugo’s play Hernani, a drama on Castillian honour. The resulting opera Ernani may lack the irony and humour of the original play, but it supplies four glorious roles for soprano, tenor, baritone, and bass. Requiting Spanish honour leads to …

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The Enchanted Island, Metropolitan Opera live cinema relay, January 2012

Shakespeare’s Tempest with the lovers from Midsummer Night’s Dream thrown in, all to music by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, et al, with fabulous costumes, sets, and even mermaids. This enterprising creation by Jeremy Sams, following an original idea by the Met’s general manager Peter Gelb, is an innovative project that really succeeds, particularly in Act II. When I first went to …

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Cendrillon, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, July 2011

The solid-looking walls in this production carry the text of Perrault’s fairy tale Cinderella, as if to reassure us that our lovely heroine will indeed eventually get her prince.

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Le Comte Ory, Metropolitan Opera, live cinema relay, April 2011

This uniquely Rossinian opera — his penultimate — is wonderful fun, and I’m delighted the Met has put it on, and done so in a cinema screening for the whole world to share. It’s not often performed because it needs three superb singers — in the roles of Count Ory, his page Isolier, and the …

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Review — Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Royal Opera, July 2009

Ferruccio Furlanetto and Alessandro Corbelli are terrific singing actors with perfect comic timing, but what really made the evening was Joyce DiDonato as Rosina.

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