We can no longer imagine the opera world without divas – meaning “the divine”. No more than without the prima donna, the “first” singer of ensembles. In fact, the two roles usually coincide. And this produces the yarn with which newspaper arts pages weave their raison d’être: Madame X or Miss Y? And then – last but not least – the everlasting question: Who can sing the highest note? Already in 1786 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made the causes of journalistic sensationalism the subject of an experimental theatrical set-up: The Impresario – a musical farce in which Mozart sets a timeless memorial to the quarrelsome altercations in which divas and prima donnas sometimes engage in day-to-day life at the opera, probably based on his own experience with the interpreters of his stage works.
But there are also singers for whom airs and graces are wholly alien – even if the New York Times attests that they have “divine” voices. One of these is mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who has made guest appearances on all the world’s top stages. Her acclaimed Berlin debut was a lieder recital with the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation in June 2012; in 2015 she sang Marguerite in Hector Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Now the exceptional singer will return to the Philharmonie with an evening of arias. Together with the ensemble Il pomo d’oro, specialized in Baroque music and founded by Riccardo Minasi in 2012, DiDonato will present musical jewels of the 17th and 18th centuries under the fascinating banner “In War and Peace – Harmony through Music”.
Joyce DiDonato would like to thank The Pure Land Foundation for its generous support of her In War & Peace project. Joyce DiDonato would also like to thank Five Arts Foundation as recommended by Helen Berggruen, Susan and John Singer, Helen and Peter Bing, The Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal for their additional support