Press Room

Joyce DiDonato’s 2009-10 season

Rossini is much on the menu
for Joyce DiDonato’s year ahead. The mezzo begins the season with her
inimitable portrayal of Rosina in Il barbiere
di Siviglia
at the Metropolitan Opera on October 3, and just a few days
later, on October 6, she celebrates the release of Rossini – Joyce DiDonato – Colbran, the Muse, her second solo arias
collection on EMI/Virgin Classics, for which she records exclusively.  Two other opera companies are fortunate
to present DiDonato’s world-famous portrayal of Rosina during the season: Los
Angeles Opera, where she makes her debut on November 29, and later Milan’s La
Scala, to which she returns on July 9. 
DiDonato’s Rosina is already legendary, having been watched by millions
in opera houses, transmissions and broadcasts throughout the U.S. and the
world. The much talked-about portrayal was captured and screened in an early Met: Live in HD transmission, with
popular and frequent repeat screenings on TV and in theaters, and, more
recently, free in the Lincoln Center Plaza (in front of the Met) earlier in
September.  When DiDonato broke her
leg during a June performance of Barbiere
at London’s Covent Garden, laudably finishing the run of shows wearing a bright
pink cast while navigating the set in a wheelchair, the role of Rosina was
unequivocally hers.  Late next
spring, another Rossini opera, La donna
del Lago
, provides the setting for DiDonato’s ninth role debut in six
seasons when she sings Elena in Geneva (May 5); she reprises the part a few
weeks later at the Paris Opéra with tenor Juan Diego Flórez (June 14).

Setting aside her signature
role and her season composer, in February Joyce DiDonato returns to the Lyric
Opera of Chicago to sing Mozart: Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. DiDonato glittered as Cherubino in her Metropolitan
Opera debut in 2005, a portrayal Opera
described as “frisky and emotionally true … An
artist at the top of her game”. In this Lyric Opera of Chicago production,
DiDonato joins an all-star cast that includes Danielle de Niese as Susanna and Anne Schwanewilms as the Countess.

DiDonato’s Rossini arias on CD

On her new EMI/Virgin
Classics CD, DiDonato – Rossini Arias –
, the Muse, the follow-up
to last season’s Billboard-charting Furore
– Handel Opera Arias
, DiDonato sings scenes from six operas that Rossini
composed for the Spanish soprano Isabella Colbran (1785-1845), his muse and
wife.  They include two of Elena’s
scenes from La donna del Lago
(including the famous showpiece “Tanti affetti”), as well as arias from
Rossini’s Otello, Semiramide, Armida, Maometto II, and Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra.  DiDonato sings the substantial program
with the chorus and orchestra of Rome’s Accademia di Santa Cecilia under the
baton of veteran bel canto specialist
Edoardo Müller.  DiDonato’s famous
rendition of “Una voce poco fa” from Il barbiere
di Siviglia
is not on the CD – but it will be available from EMI/Virgin
Classics as a special exclusive download on iTunes from October 6, the day the
CD is launched at retail as well as on iTunes.

Concerts and recitals

DiDonato, whom Opera News calls “elegant, unaffected and enchanting”, participates
as a New York City Opera alumna in “American Voices”, the company’s November 5
opening-night celebration in the newly renovated and renamed David H. Koch
Theater, next door to the Met. 
DiDonato made her debut with the NYCO in 2002 as Sister Helen in Jake
Heggie’s devastating opera Dead Man
, in a performance Opera News
described as “not merely perfect but a further creation beyond what
composer and librettist could have imagined.”

On a lighter
note, DiDonato rings out the old year
with a televised New Year’s Eve gala in Baden-Baden, Germany’s glamorous
Festspielhaus, and then launches 2010 with a recital tour of Spain.  Her “Three Centuries of Italian Love
Songs” tour touches down in Madrid, Barcelona, and Telde in the Canary Islands,
as well as at London’s Wigmore Hall and at La Monnaie in Brussels.  Rossini features in this recital
program, along with Beethoven, Caccini, Durante, Paisiello, Pergolesi, and the
more recent Pizzetti, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Leoncavallo, among others.

In addition to that six-city
tour, DiDonato is giving only three more recitals this season. She and rising
baritone star Eric Owens sing a George London Foundation concert together at
New York’s Morgan Library & Museum on October 25, and on her way to her Los
Angeles Opera debut as Rosina, she sings in San Francisco’s jewel Herbst
Theater (November 15).  During the
Paris run of La donna del Lago, she
returns to Paris’s legendary Théatre des Champs-Elysées for a single recital on
June 14.

Joyce DiDonato closed out
her summer season with three concerts in Great Britain.  She sang Haydn’s daunting Scena di Berenice with the Orchestra of
the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Roger Norrington for her Edinburgh Festival debut,
repeating the program (which also included Handel arias) at the BBC Proms a few
days later.  DiDonato also sang her
role debut as Berlioz’s Marguerite in La damnation
de Faust
with the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev in London
on September 22.

Joyce DiDonato’s new CD tracklist:



Colbran, the Muse

La donna del Lago    – O, mattutini albori (Act I)
   – Tanti affetti (Act II)
Otello    – Assisa a piè d’un salice
(Act III)
Semiramide – Serena i vaghi rai … Bel raggio lusinghier (Act I)
Armida    – D’amore al dolce
impero (Act II)
   – Se al mio crudel  (Act III)
Maometto II    – Giusto cielo, in tal
periglio (Act III)
Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra    – Quanto è grato
all’alma mia (Act I)

Orchestra e
Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale

di Santa
Cecilia / Edoardo Müller

Joyce DiDonato’s 2009-2010 season

October 3

New York, NY

Rossini: Il
barbiere di Siviglia
/ Rosina

Metropolitan Opera / Maurizio Benini

Also: Oct 8, 10, 15, 24, 27, 31; Nov 4, 7

October 25

New York, NY

George London Foundation Recital with Eric Owens

The Morgan Library & Museum

November 5

New York, NY

New York City Opera Gala

David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

November 16

San Francisco, CA

Recital at Herbst Theater

November 19

New York, NY

Opera News Awards

November 29  

Los Angeles, CA

Il Barbiere di Sivilglia
/ Rosina

Los Angeles Opera / Michele

(Company Debut)

Also: December 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 19

December 31

Festspielhaus, Baden-Baden, Germany

New Year’s Eve Gala (Silvester-Concert)

RSO Stuttgart des SWR / Stéphane Denève


Recital tour: Three Centuries of Italian Love Songs

January 18

Madrid, Spain (Teatro
de la Zarzuela)

January 20

Telde, Canary Islands

January 24

Barcelona, Spain (Gran
Teatro del Liceu)

January 26 &

London, UK (Wigmore

January 30

Brussels, Belgium (La

February 28

Chicago, IL

Lyric Opera of Chicago / Edward Gardner

Le nozze di Figaro
/ Cherubino

Also: March 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 24, 27

May 5

Geneva, Switzerland

Grand Théâtre de Genève / Paolo Arrivabeni

Rossini: La
donna del Lago
/ Elena (role debut)

Also: May 7, 9, 11, 14, 17

June 14

Paris, France

Opéra National de Paris / Roberto Abbado

Rossini: La
donna del Lago
/ Elena

Also: June 18, 21, 24, 27, 30

June 16

Paris, France

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées


July 9

Milan, Italy

Teatro alla Scala / Jean-Christophe Spinosi

Rossini: Il
barbiere di Siviglia
/ Rosina

Also: July
12, 15, 17, 20, 23

© 21C Media Group, September 2009

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