Archives for posts with tag: Joyce DiDonato

The ever-accumulating appropriation of soprano repertory by Joyce DiDonato continues apace. Tonight, in Handel’s 1735 Alcina, the mezzo sang neither Ruggiero – the opera’s most demanding and extensive role, written for a castrato – nor that of Bradamante – surely the opera’s most beautiful, written for a contralto – but the title role itself, which in the last decade or so I’ve heard sung on stage by Renée Fleming and Anja Harteros. Given that Alice Coote sang Ruggiero, and Christine Rice Bradamante in this performance, the provision of mezzo-soprano voices was surely excessive, and one wonders why we couldn’t have had a genuine soprano Alcina and a counter-tenor Ruggiero to re-balance the higher voiced sonorities, with only a gleaming Anna Christy’s Morgana left to fly the flag for actual sopranos among the principals.


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82492b2f-5032-4dec-adb8-56369fbbce78Who’d have thought you could get so much mileage out of a tomato? But in the hands – quite literally – of Joyce DiDonato, the lone specimen found bizarrely dangling from an otherwise exiguous and rather bedraggled bunch of flowers left on the platform steps by a female fan at the end of tonight’s concert took on a life of its own, prompting stories galore from the mezzo diva du jour, a flawless mid-coloratura retrieval from the floor where it had fallen during the first encore, much throwing in the air and catching both by her and the very game conductor – Riccardo Minasi – on whose score she deposited it afterwards, not to mention a delicious piece of pantomime when he pocketed it to the diva’s horror, and was obliged to place it on the first cellos’ desk instead. I shouldn’t think anybody has witnessed quite this much creative fun with fruit and veg since Callas and the carrots, many, many moons ago. Read the rest of this entry »