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Joyce DiDonato sings back-to-back concerts at Carnegie Hall

Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato Sings Back-to-Back Performances at Carnegie Hall This Week, Including Debut Performance with James Levine and the MET Orchestra on Jan 25

On the heels of the release of her first solo album on EMI/Virgin Classics, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato comes to New York for back-to-back concerts at Carnegie Hall. On Friday, January 23, DiDonato joins the popular French period ensemble Les Talens Lyriques and its conductor Christophe Rousset for a program featuring works from her new CD of Handel arias, Furore!, in Zankel Hall. The new recording finds DiDonato “In ravishing form,”* as she sings 14 arias from ten Handel operas and oratorios in Italian and English. DiDonato and her colleagues will also perform works from the disc in Kansas City on January 21. Just days later, on January 25, Joyce DiDonato joins James Levine and his MET Orchestra 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 Maestro Levine at the piano.

On January 24, Joyce DiDonato will spend her day off from Carnegie Hall’s stages hosting the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD” broadcast of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. The Met production features choreography by Mark Morris and costumes by Isaac Mizrahi and will be conducted by James Levine.

DiDonato observes Handel anniversary with new EMI CD
On January 13, EMI Classics released Joyce DiDonato’s first solo disc on the Virgin Classics label: entitled Furore!, this is her first solo recording for EMI Classics, with Christophe Rousset and his popular period instrument ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques. The recording demonstrates her emotional agility at both ends of the scale, in scenes from Handel operas and oratorios. It includes three arias from Hercules, which DiDonato performed to great acclaim at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2006 and previously in Paris, London, and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. “The drama is dominated by Dejanira, here sung by Joyce DiDonato, a young American mezzo-soprano with a vibrantly warm sound and agile coloratura technique,” wrote Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times. “As her arias kept coming and the moods kept shifting during the long (more than three hours) performance, Ms. DiDonato kept on going, singing with affecting intensity and tireless stamina.”

DiDonato has conducted an extensive European tour with Les Talens Lyriques and Maestro Rousset to celebrate the release of the new recording. The European tour had stops in seven cities, with concerts at London’s Barbican Centre, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and Madrid’s Teatro Real.

In April, Joyce DiDonato’s tributes to Handel continue when the Archiv Label releases its recording of his magical opera Alcina. DiDonato sings the title role in this recording, which is led by baroque specialist Alan Curtis.

Joyce DiDonato sings World Premiere of Peter Lieberson’s The World in Flower
In May 2009, Joyce DiDonato will appear with the New York Philharmonic in three concerts, singing the world premiere of composer Peter Lieberson’s cantata, The World in Flower. Written for mezzo-soprano, baritone, chorus, and orchestra, The World in Flower was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and originally intended as a showcase for the composer’s late wife, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.

“I chose the texts myself,” explains Peter Leiberson. “They are wide-ranging and include ‘I live my life in widening circles,’ by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke; texts by shamans, and mystics like Gerard Manley Hopkins, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Marguerite Porete; excerpts from Rumi, the Odes of Solomon, and Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman; Oceana by Pablo Neruda; and a final excerpt of selected prayers from the Navajo. Despite the differences in language, these texts hold very similar views. At this time in particular when there is so much intolerance, they embody similarities in spiritual realizations from many traditions. I chose the texts for these reasons and more, for their profound understanding and sympathy for humanity, as well as for their passion and exuberance for this mysterious human life.”

The performances, on May 7-9, will also feature baritone Russell Braun and the New York Choral Artists, led by the New York Philharmonic’s Music Director Designate Alan Gilbert. These concerts are also part of the New York Philharmonic’s popular Hear and Now series, in which new works are explored and explained through interviews with composers and artists, led by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky.

An avid blogger and photographer, DiDonato maintains a lively online diary replete with pictures: has been noted enthusiastically by critics and the public alike. Her website is at

*Sunday Times (London)

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Joyce DiDonato: Winter/Spring 2009 Engagements

January 21
Kansas City, Harriman-Jewell concerts
Handel Arias: from Imeneo, Hercules, Ariodante, and Giulio Cesare
Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset

January 23
New York, Carnegie Hall (Zankel)
Handel Arias: from Imeneo, Hercules, Ariodante, and Giulio Cesare
Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset

January 25
New York, Carnegie Hall
MET Orchestra / James Levine
Mozart: “Ch’io mi scordi di te”
Rossini: La regata veneziana

February 5 & 7
Paris, Théatre des Champs-Elysées
Berlioz: Béatrice et Bénédict
Orchestre National de France / Sir Colin Davis

February 15
Berlin, Deutsche Oper (company debut)
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (Octavian)
Deutsche Oper Berlin / Peter Schneider

February 27
Opéra National de Paris, Palais Garnier
Mozart: Idomeneo (Idamante)
Opéra National de Paris / Thomas Hengelbrock
Additional performances: March 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, and 22

April 14
Vienna State Opera (company debut)
Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
Vienna State Opera Orchestra / Marco Armiliato

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

July 4
London, Royal Opera House
Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
Additional performances: July 7, 10, 13, 15, and 18

– January 16, 2009

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