Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joyce DiDonato Explores Gender Identity

Based on concert performances in September 2010 at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées with Orchestre de l'Opéra National de Lyon under conductor Kazushi Ono, the premise of the disc is to explore different characters - male and female - from operas with the same plot. The program tries to exploit the limitless range of emotion and vocal colors available to a mezzo-soprano.

For a sampling of the disc's theory, look to the yin and yang of Bellini's Romeo ("Ascolta! Se Romeo t'uccise un figlio...- La tremenda ultrice spada" - I Capuletti e i Montecchi) contrasted with Berlioz's Juliette ("Premiers transports que nul n'oublie" - Roméo et Juliette) and Rossini's Cenerentola ("Nacqui all'affanno" - La Cenerentola) opposite Massenet's Cendrillon ("Allez, laissez-moi seul...Coeur sans amour, printemps sans roses" - Cendrillon).

Particularly intriguing is the Mozart pairings from
Le Nozze di Figaro with Cherubino ("Voi che sapete") and Susanna ("Deh, vieni, non tardar") as well as La Clemenza di Tito with Sesto ("Se mai senti spirarti sul volto") and Vitellia ("Ecco il punto, o Vitellia...Non più di fiori").

Additional character contrasts include Faust (Gounod and Berlioz), Ariadne (Strauss and Massenet) and Orfeo (Gluck and Offenbach).
"Parto, parto" from La Clemenza di Tito is a bonus track for those purchasing the album on iTunes.

USA release date: January 25, 2011; France, UK, Germany release date: February 8, 2011

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