MUSCAT: One of the leading ladies of the opera world, Grammy Award-winning American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, will bring her powerful voice to the most dramatic roles of Baroque opera at Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) in a concert on May 1.

DiDonato, who is renowned for her portrayals of the ‘drama queens’ of Baroque opera, will perform with Il Pomo d’Oro orchestra from Italy with Russian violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky directing. The programme, ‘Drama Queens’ features the queens from Baroque opera including Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, from George Frideric Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Berenice, Queen of Palestine, from Giuseppe Maria Orlandini’s Berenice, and Ottavia, Empress of Rome, from Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea.

“Joyce DiDonato is one of the greatest mezzo-sopranos singing today. Her interpretations of Baroque opera are especially wonderful, as she brings a lot of personality to these powerful female characters and their songs. This is a concert not to be missed,” said Umberto Fanni, ROHM’s acting director general and artistic director.

The singer herself has said she loves portraying the larger-than-life drama queens because they allow her to experience different plots, emotions and circumstances on stage, all the while sharing it with the audience.

“The baroque drama queen apologises for nothing, hides nothing (unless it serves her purpose, of course), lays herself bare without filter, and through glorious, magisterial vocal music gives us permission to dare to do the same,” DiDonato said of her Drama Queens programme.

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato was born in 1969 in Prairie Village, Kansas, US and grew up singing in school choirs. Following studies in vocal music education and vocal performance, she participated in The Sante Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singer programme in 1996 and began her professional career in 1998.

She has gone on to perform with the top opera companies including the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, and the OpEra National de Paris among others. In 2012 DiDonato won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Violinist and director Dmitry Sinkovsky studied at the Moscow Conservatory.

He has a strong interest in Baroque music, and has won major prizes for his performances including the Premio Bonporti in Italy (2005), the Bach Competition in Leipzig (2006), the Musica Antiqua Competition in Bruges (first prize, audience prize and critics’ prize, 2008), the Romanus Weichlein Prize at the Biber Competition in Austria in 2009 for his extraordinary interpretation of Biber’s Rosary Sonatas and first prize at the Telemann Competition in Magdeburg (2011).

Il Pomo d’Oro orchestra was founded in 2012 by Gesine Lubben and Giulio d’Alessio, bringing together some of the best musicians known for authentic interpretations on period instruments. The young orchestra focuses primarily on performing and recording opera masterpieces from the Baroque to Belcanto periods. Joyce DiDonato will perform for one night only on May 1 at 7.30pm.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily