Performance Sunday, November 18, 2012 | 2 PM

Joyce DiDonato

Drama Queens

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
As Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times puts it, Joyce DiDonato possesses “an effortless combination of glamour, charisma, intelligence, grace, and remarkable talent.” But what really sets her apart is her rare ability to turn a recital into an intimate experience, to make the audience feel at home. Here she’s joined by Il Complesso Barocco for a program titled Drama Queens, which features arias from Baroque operas sung by royal characters.


  • Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Il Complesso Barocco
  • Dmitry Sinkovsky, Director and Violin


  • CESTI "Intorno all'idol mio" from Oronotea
  • D. SCARLATTI Sinfonía from Tolomeo et Alessandro
  • MONTEVERDI "Disprezzata regina" from L'incoronazione di Poppea
  • GIACOMELLI "Sposa son disprezzata" from Merope
  • VIVALDI Concerto in D Minor for Violin, Strings, and Continuo, RV 242
  • ORLANDINI "Da torbida procella" from Berenice
  • J.A. HASSE "Morte, col fiero aspetto" from Antonio e Cleopatra
  • HANDEL "Piangerò la sorté mia" from Giulio Cesare
  • HANDEL Passacaglia, Act II from Radamisto
  • PORTA "Madre diletta" from Ifigenia in Aulide
  • D. SCARLATTI Sinfonía in C Major
  • HANDEL "Brilla nell' alma un non inteso ancor" from Alesandro

  • Encores:
  • KEISER "Lasciami piangere" from Fredegunda
  • ORLANDINI "Col versar barbaro il sangue" from Berenice
  • HANDEL "Brilla nell'alma un non inteso ancor" from Alessandro


  • Joyce DiDonato

    Winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Joyce DiDonato entrances audiences and critics alike across the globe. Born in Kansas and a graduate of Wichita State University, Ms. DiDonato trained at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and through the young artist programs at the San Francisco, Houston, and Santa Fe operas. She has since soared to international prominence through her interpretations of Rossini, Handel, and Mozart, as well as through her wide-ranging, acclaimed discography.

    Highlights from last year's season included back-to-back title roles at La Scala, Milan (Der Rosenkavalier and La donna del lago); the world premiere of Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island at the Metropolitan Opera; concerts with the New York Philharmonic in New York and London; and the title role of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda at Houston Grand Opera.

    Ms. DiDonato begins the current season with her first recital tour to South America. She performs the title role of Maria Stuarda with the Metropolitan Opera and the title role of La donna del lago at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Santa Fe Opera Festival.

    An exclusive recording artist with EMI / Virgin Classics, Ms. DiDonato's Grammy Award-winning solo album Diva Divo comprises arias by male and female characters that tell the same story from different perspectives, and celebrates the rich dramatic world of the mezzo-soprano.

    Other honors include the Gramophone Artist of the Year and Recital of the Year awards and a German ECHO Klassik Award as Female Singer of the Year. She was recently awarded the prestigious Premio Franco Abbiati Award for Best Singer in 2011.

    More Info

  • Il Complesso Barocco

    Founded in Amsterdam in 1979 by pre-Romantic music specialist Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco has become a world-renowned Baroque orchestra with a focus on Italian Baroque opera and oratorio. Its high standard for interpretation, intonation, and stylistic accuracy has led to invitations to perform in the most important concert venues and festivals throughout Europe and America.

    For a time, Il Complesso Barocco's rich discography was devoted to late madrigal repertory; film director Werner Herzog chose the ensemble as protagonists for Morte per cinque voci, his film about composer Carlo Gesualdo. They also recorded Michelangelo Rossi's Primo libro di madrigali (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Antonio Vivaldi International Recording Prize); vocal works by Antonio Lotti; the complete duets and selected madrigals by Monteverdi (Diapason d'Or); Guarini's Il pastor fido cycle as set to music by Monteverdi, Marenzio, and d'India; and Gesualdo's complete Libro Sesto delli Madrigali. A variety of oratorios have been recorded as well, including Alessandro Stradella's La Susanna, Benedetto Ferrari's Il Sansone (Diapason d'Or), Pietro Andrea Ziani's Assalonne punito (Choc du Monde de la Musique), and Francesco Conti's David.

    Alan Curtis, together with Il Complesso Barocco, has also played a fundamental role in the modern revival of Baroque operas, especially those of Monteverdi, Vivaldi, and Handel. Admeto, re di Tessaglia, the first Handel opera to be revived with original instruments, was performed by the ensemble and Mr. Curtis at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw in 1979 and recorded by EMI; it was reissued a quarter of a century later by Virgin Classics. More recently, the ensemble's Handel recordings have included Rodrigo (Premio Internazionale del Disco "Antonio Vivaldi"); Arminio (International Handel Recording Prize); Deidamia (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, International Handel Recording Prize); Radamisto (International Handel Recording Prize); Lotario; Rodelinda; Fernando, re di Castiglia; Floridante; Tolomeo, re d'Egitto; Ezio; Berenice; Alcina; and Ariodante.

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  • Dmitry Sinkovsky

    Born in Moscow, Dmitry Sinkovsky attended the Tchaikovsky Conservatory while studying with Professor Alexander Kirov from 2001 to 2005. Between his studies and tours to Europe, Mr. Sinkovsky also undertook Baroque violin lessons with early music pioneer Maria Leonhardt. He is regularly invited to lead and perform as a soloist with ensembles such as Il Complesso Barocco, Concerto Köln, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, Armonia Atenea, Musica Petropolitana, Pratum Integrum, Barocksolisten München, Collegium Marianum, Le Concert Lorrain, Musica Antiqua Roma, Capriola di Gioia, and Harmony of Nations Baroque Orchestra.

    A laureate of various international competitions, Mr. Sinkovsky won first prize at the 2011 Georg Philipp Telemann Violin Competition in Magdeburg, Germany; first prize, audience prize, and the media prize at the 2008 Musica Antiqua competition in Belgium; and the Romanus Weichlein prize at the H.I.F. von Biber competition in Austria.

    In September 2009, Mr. Sinkovsky had the honor of being invited by the Dutch Jumpstart Jr. Foundation to audition before an international jury at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. As a result, he was chosen as the recipient of an original Francesco Ruggeri violin made in Cremona in 1675, presented to him to perform on for a number of years.

    A gifted countertenor, Mr. Sinkovsky also studied voice with Michael Chance in The Hague, Marie Daveluy in Montreal, and Jana Ivanilova in Moscow. He regularly performs as a countertenor soloist. After finishing his postgraduate studies, he completed a chamber music course with Professor Alexei Lubimov at the Moscow State Conservatory P. I. Tchaikovsky. In 2011, Mr. Sinkovsky established La Voce Instrumentale ensemble, which he conducts and performs with as a singer. He has also performed as a member of Il Giardino Armonico with Cecilia Bartoli.

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Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Voi che sapete
Joyce DiDonato, Soprano
EMI Virgin Classics

In the Artist's Own Words

We singers tend to boast that our careers offer the best form of psychotherapy in existence, for we are allowed to work out the bulk of our inner demons courtesy of the larger-than-life drama queens we encounter on the stage—those divine ladies who weep and love, moan and avenge more grandly and stylishly than in any other art form.

Why do we adore these queens of the drama? The answer for me lies at the heart of why we love opera: We yearn to open hidden doors to the richest, most complex, utterly human, and profoundly moving emotions that we may not be able to access when left to our own devices. The crazy plots and extreme circumstances of the operatic universe give us permission to unleash our often too-idle imaginations. We willingly enter this world of high drama, praying that we will find a welcome release in Cleopatra's broken, haunted tears, or that we will be allowed to weep at Rossane's unbridled joy, or perhaps learn to love a bit more purely through Orontea's heartfelt plea to her sleeping lover.
Program Notes


Joyce DiDonato's Drama Queens come to Carnegue Hall.

Joyce DiDonato discusses her album Drama Queens, the basis for the program for this concert

$10 student rush tickets are available in the balcony.
This performance is part of Great Singers I, Vocal Trio, and Great Singers I - Students.