07 April 2012

Catching Up, Part II

Shortly after I posted my update on the activities of Janice Hall, Ann Harada, and Jennifer Van Dyke, I got some exciting news about another friend, the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.

The august British magazine, Gramophone, has inaugurated a Hall of Fame to recognise (as the editors would have it) the men and women who have made the most significant contributions to Classical-music recording over the past 110 years (all but 20 of which, Gramophone has been publishing).

The Hall of Fame begins with a starter set, if you will, of 50 names, voted by the magazine’s readers and by visitors to its website. Of these 50 musicians and producers, only twelve are singers. Only three are still actively performing. Only one among these is Joyce DiDonato.

I told you she was good, too.

The complete list of singers follows below.

Janet Baker
Cecilia Bartoli
Jussi Björling
Maria Callas
Enrico Caruso
Joyce DiDonato
Plácido Domingo
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Birgit Nilsson
Luciano Pavarotti
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
Joan Sutherland

By the way, Joyce is returning to Houston Grand Opera this month for Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, in which she’ll sing the role of Mary, Queen of Scots. Though the part is most often sung by sopranos (including Beverly Sills and Leyla Gencer), it was created by a mezzo, the legendary Maria Malibran, and proved a great success for the aforementioned Janet Baker. You can get information and order tickets by clicking here.

And finally (for the moment, anyway!), the DVD of Laurent Pelly’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon from Covent Garden last year is being released in the U.S. Joyce stars in yet another version of the Cinderella story: she also appeared in this production at Santa Fe a few years ago, and of course she’s sung the Rossini Cenerentola around the world. The cherry on the cake? Cendrillon co-stars the incomparable Ewa Podles´ as the Wicked Stepmother, Madame de la Haltière. You can pre-order your copy from Amazon.

She’s having a ball.

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