Showing posts with label Joyce DiDonato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joyce DiDonato. Show all posts

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Joyce DiDonato Shares Touching Story In 2014 Juilliard Speech

"I want to share with you a quick email from a soldier on the front lines of our Arts: an elementary/middle school teacher from Salt Lake City, Ms. Audrey Hill, who is fighting the great fight! She brought her students to the recent HD telecast of La Cenerentola, and wrote the following note to me: 'One of my boys...a 5th grader...wrote in his review this morning that one of his favorite parts (besides the spaghetti food-fight scene) was where at the end you were singing about getting revenge, and how he really liked that your revenge was going to be forgiveness. This boy was new to our school this year, has a beautiful singing voice, and has been teased a lot. I have seen him getting more and more angry as the year was coming to a close and today it seemed like all that had disappeared. It was very moving for me to experience.'" [Source] The Juilliard School’s 109th Commencement Speech by Joyce DiDonato can be read here in its entirety or watch the video after the jump.
2014 Honorees: front row - Lar Lubovitch, Viola Davis, Frank Owen Gehry, Philip Glass; back row: Marcus Roberts, Bruce Kovner, Suzanne F. Kovner, Joyce DiDonato, Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi
(Photo: Nan Melville/Facebook)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Operatic Selfie For The Ages At Opera News Awards

Luca Pisaroni posted the operatic equivalent of the infamous Ellen Degeneres selfie from the Academy Awards. Some pretty big names in this photo, including: Stephen Costello, Susan Graham, Kristīne Opolais, Ailyn Perez and Joyce DiDonato. (Photo: Facebook)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Olympics Of Singing To Air January 11 On PBS

"Tune in to PBS on Jan. 11 to watch Stephanie Blythe, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Gregg Grimsley, Angela Meade, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez, Matthew Polenzani, and 2013 Richard Tucker Award Winner Isabel Leonard perform at the highly anticipated opera event. Check local listings:"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Joyce DiDonato Discusses Autumn Release For EMI

Watch a video of mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato discussing her upcoming release on EMI titled Drama Queens. Lots of footage from the recording sessions as well. Order the album by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does Competition and Foundation Prize Money Help Singers?

Angela Meade (l) with 1986 Richard
Tucker Award winner Dolora Zajick
(Photo: Ruth Fremson/NY Times)
Anthony Tommasini wrote in the New York Times: "Since 1975 the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, named for the great American tenor, has fostered the careers of emerging singers." The annual gala concert was held on Sunday (November 7) evening. "The evening’s main business was to honor this year’s Tucker Award winner, the young soprano Angela Meade, who receives a $30,000 prize, the foundation’s largest grant. Ms. Meade recently sang three performances of the title role in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena in the Met’s new production, and she returns to the company in February for Verdi’s seldom-heard Ernani. Her first offering here was a fiery aria from Verdi’s Attila. Her sound was enormous, rich and unforced; her coloratura runs and passagework were dispatched with aplomb and precision. Vocally, Ms. Meade was even better in the Act I finale of Bellini’s Norma, for which she was joined by the mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick as Adalgisa and the sturdy tenor Frank Porretta (substituting for Mr. Giordani) as Pollione." But how much fostering does Ms. Meade's career need at this point? According to the Metropolitan Opera, a top-earner makes $16K/performance. Even a newcomer like Meade (who actually was a winner of the National Council Auditions in 2007 and made her debut at the MET in the 2008 production of Ernani) could easily pull in $9K/performance at the low-end estimate. So at this stage of the game, does a singer like Angela Meade need the help of the Richard Tucker Foundation? Looking back at past Tucker Award winners might show that most of these singers were well on their way and didn't need much "fostering." Check out examples, as well as video performances of these past winners at the Richard Tucker Gala, after the jump.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Joyce DiDonato Speaks Out About Arts Being Slashed in Kansas

World opera star and Kansas native.
"With one, autonomous slash of the pen, every state penny for the arts in my home of Kansas has vanished, simultaneously obliterating all matching federal funds. This is the Sunflower State that I have proudly boasted about across the world, fearlessly defending it even in the face of harsh quizzical looks from the most skeptical of folks (“You live where?”). It’s the state of my first piano recital and choir concert. The home field of my artistic curiosity and education. The homeland that taught me to freely dream big and without limitation; one where the arts were once alive, vibrant and supported. I’ve welcomed the assumption of being an unsolicited but mightily proud artistic ambassador for Kansas to the great cities of the world. Now, for the first time, I feel shame. Eliminating a state arts commission is an ignorant, short-sighted, fearful and unspeakably damaging act to the spirit and soul of this great state. I’m not a politician or historian. I’m a humble opera singer, a home-grown product of an agricultural state that used to value the arts, like all great societies and cultures of the past. But my anger rivals a good ol’ western Kansas Category 5 tornado’s destructive force when I begin to think of where I’d be without an education fueled by the arts that informed my way of thinking. Or without a community theater, choir or art exhibit that gave me true solace and an emergency exit from some of the great crises in my life. Or without that musical outlet that helped me understand myself and the mystery of life a little better."

Read the full article at the Kansas City Star.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Le Comte Ory" Sneak Preview Videos From the MET

Watch Juan Diego Flórez, Joyce DiDonato and Diana Damrau in videos taken from the dress rehearsal of Rossini's Le Comte Ory that opens this Thursday, March 24 at 8PM EST at the Metropolitan Opera. Videos excerpts include Act I Duet, Act III Trio and more! Click here to view.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Virgin Classics Renews Joyce DiDonato Recording Contract

(Photo: Mary Umans/Virgin Classics)
At a time when major record labels seem to be dropping artists and recording fewer albums, good news comes from the EMI label Virgin Classics that they will be renewing their exclusive contract with Joyce DiDonato. A relationship that began in 2007, the mezzo-soprano has produced three solo albums for the company: Furore (Händel arias), Colbran, the Muse (Rossini arias) and Diva, Divo (opera arias by various composers). She has also appeared on an ensemble album Lamenti that features Baroque arias by 11 of today's top singers under conductor Emmanuelle Haïm, as well as recording the Vivaldi opera Ercole with Rolando Villazón, Diana Damrau, Vivica Genaux and Philippe Jaroussky. Her most recent release is the Rossini Stabat Mater with another all-star cast including Anna Netrebko, Lawrence Brownlee, Ildebrando d'Arcangelo under the direction of Antonio Pappano on the parent label EMI Classics. The next album to be released is a full opera recording of Händel's Ariodante in May which will also have an accompanying European tour with the star artist. Her next solo album will be released in October 2012, but no word on what the repertoire will be on the disc. Alain Lanceron, President of Virgin Classics, remarked, "I’m very happy with Joyce’s confidence in EMI/Virgin Classics and that the wonderful adventure we embarked upon some years ago will continue with many other remarkable projects." [Source, Source]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Five Winners Chosen in MET National Council Auditions

Finalists pre-concert (left to right): Joseph Lim, Joseph Barron, Deanna Breiwick, Ryan Speedo
Green, Philippe Sly, Sasha Djihanian, Michelle Johnson and Nicholas Masters (Photo: Gothamist)
Of the eight singers selected from 1,500 that participated in the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions, five were each named winners of a $15,000 prize yesterday. Curiously no mezzo-soprano or tenor voices were represented, except the emcee Joyce DiDonato and the entertainment for the day Lawrence Brownlee. The winners included Michelle Johnson, Joseph Barron, Ryan Speedo Green, Joseph Lim, Philippe Sly. The Sunday concert was conducted by Patrick Summers and the audience nearly filled the cavernous Metropolitan Opera.

How ever you want to describe it, not politically correct, tasteless or even uncouth, the writer Mike Silverman of the Associate Press ends his review thusly: "Brownlee is probably the closest thing there is to a black American superstar in opera these days, so it was especially heartening that two of the winners, Johnson and Green, also are black." [Source, Source]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Joyce DiDonato Oozes "Charisma" at Carnegie Hall Recital

"At 42, she is in her prime and sounded it on Sunday, gliding bejeweled onto the stage in a black gown with bustle and plunging straight into “Berenice, che fai,” Haydn’s turbulent concert aria. Ms. DiDonato shaded every word with meaning, conveying the bereaved Berenice’s anguish with a warm, silvery voice that slid between mezza-voce despair and full-throttle grief, her penetrating high notes and earthy lows equally alluring." [Source]

Haydn: Berenice, che fai, Hob. XXIVa: 10
Rossini: “L’invito”; “La partenza”; “Le dodo des enfants”; “Chanson de Zora”
Chaminade: “Viens! mon bien-aimé!”; “Villanelle”; “Aubade”; “L’été”
Rossini: “Assisa al piè d’un salice…Deh, calma,” from Otello
Jake Heggie: The Breaking Waves (world premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
Buzzi-Peccia: “Lolita” (serenata spagnola)
Leoncavallo: “Serenata francese”
Di Chiara: “La spagnola”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Joyce DiDonato Asks: Pantalones o faldas?

As subjects answer the all important question, "Pants or Skirts?", there seems to be
some dissension amongst the ranks! Let's hope it got settled peacefully.
In an ongoing effort to promote her new CD, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato has taken to guerilla media tactics by filming anyone she can find at the Houston Grand Opera (including Frederica von Stage, Jake Heggie, Anthony Freud, stage door guards,
ushers, choristers, etc.) to ask them "Pants or Skirts?" and "Divas or Divos?" The results are quite funny, if not completely real and authentic. My personal favorite is the guy at the 2:20 mark (wearing the Department of Corrections cap) who tells the story of Montserrat "Cabriel." More information about Joyce's new CD is here. Video is after the jump.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Houston Grand Opera Awards Joyce DiDonato

(Photo: Larry Ford/Gramophone)
"Lynn Wyatt, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Houston Grand Opera (HGO) and a Life Trustee of the organization, together with Anthony Freud, HGO General Director and CEO, today announced that mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will be the Lynn Wyatt Great Artist at Houston Grand Opera for the 2011-12 season. The Lynn Wyatt Great Artist Fund at Houston Grand Opera - an endowed fund dedicated to bringing the world's best operatic artists to HGO - was established in 2010 with a gift of $1,000,000 from Oscar Wyatt in honor of Lynn Wyatt's many years of philanthropy and service to the company. The first Lynn Wyatt Great Artist at Houston Grand Opera was Ana María Martínez, who opened the 2010-11 season to great acclaim as Cio-Cio San in a sold-out run of Puccini's Madame Butterfly." [Source]

Monday, January 17, 2011

Download Joyce DiDonato FREE!

(Photo: Virgin Classics)
"To celebrate the release of Joyce DiDonato's Diva, Divo, Virgin Classics offers you the chance to own the recording of the exquisite 'Aprite, presto aprite,' from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, where Joyce sings both parts in the duet, absolutely free!" Get the FREE download

Click here to play "Premiers Transports" from Romeo et Juliette by Berlioz.

Listen to all the tracks from the new album until its release on January 25.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Joyce DiDonato Makes It Official

As previously posted on Opera Fresh, the mezzo-soprano is set to release a new CD:

"Hot on the heels of winning Gramophone magazine’s 2010 Artist of the Year award, the vibrant mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will release her third Virgin/EMI solo album –Diva, Divo – on January 25."

Big photos, video and full details of the album are on her website.

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).