Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato enchants audiences and critics alike across the globe. With a voice “nothing less than 24-carat gold” as proclaimed by The Times, she is among the world’s most entrancing performers and the winner of many honors including the 2010 Gramophone Artist of the Year and a 2012 Grammy Award. DiDonato makes her long awaited International Artist Series debut this season.

Joyce DiDonato

didonatoforwebDiDonato has soared to international prominence in operas by Rossini, Handel, and Mozart, as well as in high-profile world premieres. Her signature parts include Rossini’s La cenerentola and Il barbiere di Siviglia – her Rosina at the Metropolitan Opera won over audiences in New York and on cinema screens all over the world, and she was called “the best Rosina around” by the London Sunday Times for the portrayal.

Born and educated in Kansas, she was a member of the young artist programs of the San Francisco, Houston Grand, and Santa Fe Opera companies after graduate studies at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts. After beginning her career in the U.S., DiDonato soon developed a growing and enthusiastic worldwide following in opera, concert and recital. In addition to appearing on the world’s major opera stages – in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Chicago, Geneva, London, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, Vienna and this year, Berlin – she has given recitals and concerts at Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall, and with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre National de Paris, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. Ms. DiDonato has had important triumphs at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro and in performances and recordings with Alan Curtis’s ensemble, Il complesso barocco and William Christie’s Arts Florissants.

Her growing discography has earned accolades far and wide. The Deepest Desire, her first solo disc, was awarded France’s Diapason d’or de l’année, an extraordinary honour for a recording of American songs. Gramophone commented about her recent complete opera recording of Handel’s Alcina (DG/Archiv Produktion) with DiDonato in the title role: “DiDonato is superb: her Alcina is a complex, feminine creature, vain and vindictive,” and about her Handel’s Floridante: “Joyce DiDonato’s silvery singing is beautiful, stylish, dramatically astute yet unforced.” Her extensive discography also includes a disc of Handel duets with soprano Patricia Ciofi, complete recordings of Rossini’s La cenerentola, Handel’s Radamisto, Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini and DVDs of Handel’s Hercules, La cenerentola and Il barbiere di Siviglia. She can be heard in a survey of Antonio Vivaldi’s sacred music, as well as on three solo CDs – The Deepest Desire, ¡Pasión!, and her debut recital from London’s Wigmore Hall which was a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”. DiDonato has made two recordings as an exclusive artist for EMI’s Virgin Classics label: a selection of Rossini arias associated with the composer’s muse, the great Isabella Colbran and her album “Furore,” surveying a variety of emotional Handel arias with Les Talens Lyriques and Christophe Rousset. At Houston Grand Opera she premiered and recorded the roles of Meg in Mark Adamo’s highly acclaimed Little Women, and of Katerina Maslova in Tod Machover’s epic Resurrection.

Honours bestowed upon DiDonato also include the Beverly Sills Award from the Metropolitan Opera, Echo Klassics “2010 Female Singer of the Year”, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2005 “Singer of the Year”, the Richard Tucker Award, given to a single American singer annually, second place in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, and prizes from the George London Foundation, the ARIA Award Foundation, and the Sullivan Foundation.

David Zobel

French pianist David Zobel is a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a Sony ES Award for Musical Excellence. He earned degrees in accompanying from The Juilliard School and in singers’ coaching from the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique in Paris.

Mr. Zobel enjoys a successful career as collaborative pianist and opera accompanist in France and abroad. He regularly accompanies singers at distinguished competitions, including the Plácido Domingo International Voice Competition, Le concours de la ville de Paris, Concours international d’opéra in Marseille, the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna.

As an opera coach, he is associated with Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Vienna State Opera, Het Muziektheater Amsterdam, Opéra National de Montpellier, Festival de Radio France in Montpellier, Festival d’Aix en Provence, and the Stanislawski Theatre. He has worked with many distinguished conductors, including Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Lawrence Foster, Alain Altinoglu, Antonino Fogliani, and Marc Minkowski. With Mr. Minkowski, Mr. Zobel collaborated in the Olivier Py production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in Moscow, which received the Russian Golden Mask National Theatre Award for Best Opera of the Year and Best Conductor, and on which Philippe Béziat based his film Le chant des aveugles.

With Ms. DiDonato, Mr. Zobel has performed on some of the world’s most prestigious concert stages, including at Teatro alla Scala, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona, La Monnaie in Brussels, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pessaro. Mr. Zobel accompanies Ms. DiDonato on her first highly acclaimed solo album The Deepest Desire, which was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’Année.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
Concert length is estimated to be 2 hours with one intermission.

Join us at 6:45pm in the Marzitelli Foyer for a pre-concert talk hosted by Mark Bilyeu.


If you have tickets but are unable to attend, please consider turning back your tickets as a tax-deductible contribution. Your generosity allows other music lovers to attend our sold out concerts.
Turnback tickets online or call 651.292.3268 at least one hour prior to the concert



Fernando Obradors: Canciones clásicas españolas 

Rossini: “Assisa a’ piè d’un salice,” from Otello

Mozart-Rossini: Beaumarchais Trilogy
“Voi che sapete,” from Le Nozze di Figaro
“Deh vieni, non tardar,” from Le Nozze di Figaro
“Una voce poco fa,” from Il barbiere di Siviglia

Cleopatra Duo
“Morte, col fiero aspetto,” from Antonio e Cleopatra by Hasse (listen to this piece on youtube)
“Piangerò la sorte mia,” from Giulio Cesare by Handel (listen to this piece on youtube)

Reynaldo Hahn: Venezia
“Tanti affetti” from La donna del lago, Rossini
Non ti scordar di me, Ernesto De Curtis
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Harold Arlen



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By the end of the evening, the vivacious American mezzo-soprano had the sold-out house practically eating out of the palm of her hand…Joyce DiDonato has few if any peers as a song recitalist.

Chicago Tribune

Throughout the concert, David Zobel proved an exemplary accompanist, his elegant, characterful pianism complementing Ms. DiDonato’s singing with a wide range of colors and nuances.

The New York Times