Drama Queens / Joyce Didonato, soprano; Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

Album Summary

>Orlandini, Giuseppe Maria : Berenice
>Porta, Giovanni : Ifigenia in Aulide
>Handel, George Frideric : Alcina
>Keiser, Reinhard : Fredegunda
>Hasse, Johann Adolf : Antonio e Cleopatra
>Handel, George Frideric : Giulio Cesare in Egitto
>Cesti, Antonio : Orontea
>Handel, George Frideric : Alessandro
>Keiser, Reinhard : Octavia
>Monteverdi, Claudio : L' incoronazione di Poppea
>Giacomelli, Geminiano : Merope
>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Armida
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Grammy® Award winner Joyce DiDonato joins conductor Alan Curtis and Il complesso barocco for Drama Queens, an electrifying program of royal arias the 1rom 7th and 18th centuries, composed by figures as famous as Handel and Vivaldi and as little known as Orlandini and Porta.

The impact achieved by Joyce DiDonato with her last Virgin Classics Album Diva, Divo, was summed up by her triumph at the 2012 Grammy® Awards in February: victor in the Classical Vocal Solo category, the 'Yankee Diva' gave a rare classical performance at the Grammy pre-telecast, receiving a standing ovation for her spectacular rendition of the final rondo from Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Innovative as ever, DiDonato now presents a new themed recital, conceived in partnership with Alan Curtis. Drama Queens sees DiDonato portraying a parade of royal personages in a diversity of challenging situations and extreme states of mind. "For me, this is my most exciting recording project to date," says Joyce DiDonato, "because it is everything I deeply adore about the world of opera: high drama, profound emotion, fearless vocal writing, time-stopping passages, historical significance and real discovery. What more could I ask for?"

On November 18, Joyce DiDonato will be performing the album repertoire at Carnegie Hall with the support of Il Complesso Barocco. Fresh from her triumph in the Met's The Enchanted Island, Joyce takes on the virtuosic bel canto role of the doom Mary, Queen of Scots in the new production of Maria Stuarda set to debut on December 31 at the Met's New Year's Eve Gala.

The Times, November 2012
Coloratura runs are lightning fast, angry declamations hurled like thunderbolts - and limpid laments meltingly cooed. I don't like DiDonato when she gets too shouty or adds "expressive" pitch-bends. But it's all compellingly theatrical. Great choice, too, with familiar Handel mingled with rare jewels.

ClassicsToday.com
Why describing what goes on here? Alan Curtis has found a "drama queen" (in the best sense) so stupendous that he and his Complesso Barocco seem to be following her every mood with sharp attacks, rapid-fire playing and, when called for, tender, sensitive longing. Sonics are ideal - spotless and natural. This is simply glorious.

BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012
DiDonato and Alan Curtis...have unearthed some Baroque rarities. Instead of Handel's Berenice, we have Orlandini's Berenice, whose 'Da torbida procella' is an ideal fit for DiDonato's spitfire fioritura.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2013
DiDonato produces her most emotionally moving and sensitively embellished singing in 'Madre diletta'...Wonderfully sung, passionately played and programmed intelligently - an exemplary recital.

International Record Review, February 2013
In the slow-moving 'Lasciami pinagere' .DiDonato's timbre is at its most beautiful, her phrasing eloquent, the trills not distracting the smooth flow of the musical line...The virtuosity needed to triumph over the swift scalework is coruscatingly supplied by DiDonato...Alan Curtis's Complesso Barocco's partnership is invaluable...This is a treasure of a disc, for the music, the orchestra and Joyce DiDonato.

Sunday Times, 13th January 2013
DiDonato caresses the plaintive lines of Piangero la sorte mia with the intensity of Bartoli, and brings a mordant, witchy edge to Ma quando tornerai...There's sprightly support from Alan Curtis's Italian period band. DiDonato's fans won't be disappointed.

The Independent, 10th November 2012
An anthology of suitably impassioned royal roles from Baroque operas, their emotional scope ranging from the giddy flush of love evoked by her tremulous coloratura and swooning fades as Berenice in Orlandini's "Da torbida procella", to the self-sacrifice of Porta's Ifigenia, rendered with such poised nobility.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012).



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Works Details

>Orlandini, Giuseppe Maria : Berenice :: Da torbida procella
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1725

>Porta, Giovanni : Ifigenia in Aulide :: Madre diletta, abbracciami
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1738

>Handel, George Frideric : Alcina :: Ma quando tornerai
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1735

>Keiser, Reinhard : Fredegunda :: Lasciami piangere
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Hasse, Johann Adolf : Antonio e Cleopatra :: Morte col fiero aspetto
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1725

>Handel, George Frideric : Giulio Cesare in Egitto :: E pur così in un giorno
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1724

>Cesti, Antonio : Orontea :: Intorno all'idol mio
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1649

>Handel, George Frideric : Alessandro :: Brilla nell'alma
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1726

>Keiser, Reinhard : Octavia :: Geloso sospetto
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta

>Monteverdi, Claudio : L' incoronazione di Poppea :: Disprezzata regina
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1642

>Giacomelli, Geminiano : Merope :: Sposa, son disprezzata
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1734

>Orlandini, Giuseppe Maria : Berenice :: Col versar, barbaro, il sangue
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1725

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Armida :: Vedi, se t'amo... Odio, furor, dispetto
  • Performer: Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (07/16/2012-07/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1783