November 14, 2016

Joyce DiDonato gives Paris recital on the one-year anniversary of the Bataclan

The mezzo-soprano gave an 'emotional' concert at the Opéra de Paris with maestro Philippe Jordan at the piano.

On 13 November, 2016, the red velvet curtain of the Opéra de Paris rose after a minute's silence dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attack on the Bataclan who, had attended their last concert exactly one year ago.

It is something that American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato must have been acutely aware of when she put together this programme of songs (by Haydn, Strauss, Granados and Jake Heggie) exploring the theme of loss and abandonment, with Philippe Jordan, music director of the Opéra de Paris, in a rare stint at the piano and out of the orchestra pit.

The concert that began with a minute's silence but ended, in true Joyce style, with a song for hope (Strauss' Morgen) and a song of joy (Rossini's La Danza).

The first reviews from the French music press hailed the recital a triumph and an "emotional event" (ForumOpera).

“From the first bars of Haydn’s cantata Arianna à Naxos, the mezzo-soprano confirms that her voice is in dazzling shape. How could anyone fail to fall under the spell of her fruity timbre – seamless across her entire vocal range – which her dynamic control allows her to vary in colour and intensity; by her brazen high notes and her seemingly endless breath?”

Joyce DiDonato's new album In War & Peace is out now.