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Joyce DiDonato releases Furore in US

On January 13, Joyce DiDonato releases her first solo arias recording in time for Handel year 2009, on EMI’s Virgin Classics label.  “In ravishing form,”* she sings 14 arias from ten Handel operas and oratorios in Italian and English, supported by Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques.  DiDonato and her colleagues will perform some of these arias in Kansas City on January 21 and at New York’s Zankel Hall on January 25.  Meanwhile, Furore was released in September in Europe and is a great critical success.

London’s Observer calls Furore “a collection that stands way out from the recent spate of Handel recitals”; the London Sunday Times* says “DiDonato is in ravishing form”; Warwick Thompson in Metro calls the release “Yummy!”; and Furore was “CD of the Week” in London’s Telegraph in September.  Here’s more of what the British press has been saying about Furore:

Sunday Times: “Purist Handelians will want to fasten their safety belts … A brilliant, and mostly offbeat, program of angry arias by temperamental, high-voiced heroes and vindictive heroines.  … [DiDonato shows] pathos as well as fury: Medea’s searing ‘Dolce riposo,’ with its clashing oboe dissonances, and Dejanira’s ‘There in myrtle shades’ are sung with a rapt beauty of tone that never disguises emotional anguish.”

Times: “A furore of murderous anguish, destructive self-pity, and touch-paper emotions.  DiDonato has a tremendous, sheeny, full mezzo – from her throaty lower ranges to her liquid highs – that illuminates this psychotic assembly of Handel’s most deranged and vengeful lovers.  [She] fields everything from raw-edged anger to heart-wrenching sorrow.”

The Independent says DiDonato is “one of the most flamboyantly dramatic mezzos in the business, so the thrust of her debut CD comes as no surprise.”

Three DiDonato concerts – including Furore – at Carnegie Hall in a single week! 

Joyce DiDonato’s Furore concert at Zankel Hall on January 23 is just one of three performances she will given at Carnegie in a single week (that’s two consecutive Sunday afternoons and the Friday in between!).  On January 18 she joins a bevy of colleagues on the storied hall’s main stage for the annual Marilyn Horne Foundation gala, celebrating the great mezzo’s 75th birthday and her foundation’s 15th anniversary.  The following Sunday afternoon, January 25, DiDonato joins James Levine and his Met Orchestra, again on the main stage of Carnegie Hall, singing both Rossini’s song cycle La regata veneziana and Mozart’s concert aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te?”, with James Levine at the piano. 

FURORE – Arias by George Frideric Handel  (track list)

Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano; Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset

1.   Serse “Crude furie” (Serse)

2.   Teseo “Dolce riposo!” (Medea)

3.   Teseo “Ira, sdegni, e furore … O stringerò nel sen” (Medea)

4.   Teseo “Morirò, ma vendicata” (Medea)

5.   Giulio Cesare “L’angue offeso mai riposa” (Sesto)

6.   Admeto “Orride larve” (Admeto)

7.   Hercules “There in myrtle shades reclined” (Dejanira)

8.   Semele “Hence, hence, Iris hence away” (Juno)

9.   Imeneo “Sorge nell’alma mia” (Tirinto)

10. Ariodante “Scherza infida!” (Ariodante)

11. Admeto  “Gelosia, spietata Aletto” (Alceste)

12. Amadigi “Desterò dall’empia Dite” (Melissa)

13. Hercules “Cease, ruler of the day, to rise” (Dejanira)

14. Hercules “Where shall I fly!” (Dejanira)

Joyce DiDonato at work in the U.S.:

December 15, PBS-TV (check local listings): Hosting the 2008 Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala,

January 18, 2009, Carnegie Hall, NYC: Marilyn Horne Foundation Gala

January 21, 2009, Kansas City, Harriman-Jewell concerts: “Furore!” – Handel arias with Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset

January 23, Zankel Hall, NYC: “Furore!” – Handel arias with Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset

January 24 : Joyce DiDonato Hosts the Met’s HD broadcast of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridicein select theaters.

January 25, Carnegie Hall, NYC: MET Orchestra / James Levine

Mozart: “Ch’io mi scordi di te?”, with Peter Serkin, piano; Rossini: La regata veneziana

May 7-9, 2009, New York, Avery Fisher Hall: Peter Lieberson: The World in Flower (world premiere*) New York Philharmonic / Alan Gilbert *New York Philharmonic commission

DiDonato’s earlier Handel recordings also earned raves.  Here’s a partial list:

Amor e gelosia – Joyce DiDonato and Patrizia Ciofi sing duets on Virgin Classics (2004)

“An instant classic” – New York Times

 “Every lover of great singing (and, yes, I do mean great singing) should obtain a copy of this disc without delay.” – Fanfare

“DiDonato’s silvery singing is beautiful, stylish, dramatically astute yet unforced.” – Gramophone

DiDonato sings the title role in Radamisto on Virgin Classics in 2005

“A magnificent Radamisto, singing the role with gleaming tone and a dramatic strength … DiDonato’s is throughout a supremely commanding performance.” – Fanfare

“Her high mezzo-soprano voice finds no difficulties with the tessitura and provides just the right brilliance, with bite and sinew, for the male hero.” – Opera News Editor’s Choice

Hercules followed in 2006, with DiDonato as the crazed Dejanira, live on DVD

“Among the best DVDs ever made of a Handelian production.  Everyone looks terrific.  Joyce DiDonato’s marvelous Dejanira dominates the proceedings.” – Opera News

“DiDonato’s finest moment as the nervously twitching Dejanira is a penetrating, tearful performance of ‘Cease, ruler of the day to rise’.” – Gramophone

Floridante was released on Archiv Produktion in 2007

DiDonato is “the chief reason for adding this rarity to your collection of Handel operas” – Observer

DiDonato is “outstanding as Elmira, flame-toned in her rejection of the tyrant Oronte’s grotesque advances, sensuous in her love for Floridante.” –Daily Telegraph

 “DiDonato delivers another one of her knockout portrayals, commanding every vocal nuance while applying extraordinary dramatic feeling at every point – one can almost close one’s eyes and see her acting!”  –American Record Guide

“DiDonato … deals with the difficult coloratura effortlessly while still providing as fierce a Handelian depiction of anger as any in his musical catalog (‘Barbaro! t’odio a morte’).” – Fanfare

FURORE’s website:


For further information contact:

Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group: (212) 625-2038,  [email protected]

Mariko Tada, EMI Classics: (212) 786-8964,  [email protected]

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