fri 14/06/2024

mezzos

theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato

She’s the Kansas mezzo-soprano whose ruby slippers have now taken her across the globe, singing in all the great opera houses, but who has never lost the common touch. She’s not a diva, she’s a “Yankee Diva” – a contemporary creature who would never...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Kate Lindsey and Katharina Thoma on Glyndebourne's Ariadne auf Naxos

What’s the perfect Glyndebourne opera? Mozart, of course, must have first and second places with Le nozze di Figaro – Michael Grandage’s lively production of country-house mayhem is revived again this season – and Così fan tutte. Then comes Amadeus’...

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Joyce DiDonato, Il Complesso Barocco, Barbican Hall

It may look like a sure-fire hit to let Kansas mezzo Joyce DiDonato rip through the drama-queen repertoire of the Baroque. But last night’s exploration of the dustiest, most overgrown byways of 17th and 18th century Italian opera needed every drop...

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Coote, Britten Sinfonia, Shave, Hetherington, Wigmore Hall

Benjamin Britten would have been 99 on the day of this concert. He died aged 62, nearly six months after the premiere of a masterpiece, the 15-minute "dramatic cantata" Phaedra, ruthlessly sifting key speeches from Robert Lowell’s translation of...

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Joyce DiDonato, Wigmore Hall

By the time she went to college to study to become a singing teacher, Joyce DiDonato had been to exactly two different American states: Kansas and Colorado. New York and San Francisco were as yet unvisited, Europe and Asia as yet undreamed of. It’s...

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Olga Borodina, Dmitri Yefimov, Barbican Hall

In Italian opera, where lustrous Verdi mezzos are rare indeed, Olga Borodina tends to a first-the-music-then-the-words approach. In Russian song, the sole focus of last night's Barbican recital until the second encore, her classy, naturally...

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Coote, Vinke, Philharmonia, Maazel, Royal Festival Hall

It was bound, in vocal terms, to be a case of Beauty and the Beast. Stefan Vinke, though useful for killer heroic-tenor parts like this one in Mahler’s Song of the Earth, has made some of the ugliest sounds I’ve heard over the past few seasons,...

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Magdalena Kožená, Private Musicke, Wigmore Hall

The Wigmore Hall, with its laboriously marbled and gilded period interior, doesn’t exactly scream “rebellion”. Yet for the second time in as many months its conservative classical crowd saw recital conventions discarded like the too-tight bow tie...

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Cecilia Bartoli Sings Handel, Barbican Hall

Cecilia Bartoli invites you to her party, she stands on stage beaming and welcoming you as her guest, about to serve up a banquet of song. This is what last night’s concert felt like in the glowing warmth of this remarkable Italian mezzo-soprano’s...

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