Welcome in the New Year with Joyce DiDonato

The mezzo-soprano is the guest star of the 2017 New Year's Eve Concert

(Photo: Simon Pauly)

“It’s a dream for me to perform with this orchestra,” said Joyce DiDonato enthusiastically in an interview for the Digital Concert Hall. “I love it when the music spreads its wings and we fly together.” And the Berliner Philharmoniker also greatly appreciate the Kansas-born mezzo-soprano. Her great capital: a warm, nuanced and flexible voice, which impressively masters virtuoso coloratura just as well as intimate, lyrical phrases. The most recent demonstration of the intensity of her artistry in the Philharmonie was in June 2017, when Joyce DiDonato recreated the last thoughts and feelings of the dying Egyptian queen Cleopatra in Hector Berlioz’ Scène lyrique La Mort de Cléopâtre. Now the artist is the guest star of the New Year’s Eve concert, in which she presents a selection of orchestral songs by Richard Strauss under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, including Zueignung, the composer’s first published song, and Morgen, the famous piece that Strauss gave to his wife Pauline, a singer and gifted performer of his works, for their wedding.

Berlin success

Joyce DiDonato, who not only has a captivating voice, but also mesmerising dramatic skills and an irresistible charm, is a familiar face to Berlin audiences. In October 2010, she made her debut at Berlin’s Deutsche Oper as Rosina in Katharina Thalbach’s production of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia. In Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation concerts, the singer gave a recital in the Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie in June 2013. The theme of the recital was A Venetian Journey. That evening, she proved not only to be a gifted recital singer, but also revealed herself to be a football fan. Because at the same time, the German national team was fighting to get into the next round of the European Championships. Every time she came on stage, she informed the audience about the current state of play before continuing her performance.

Radiant, intense, multi-faceted

She made her orchestral debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2015 at the Easter Festival Baden-Baden as Marguerite in Hector Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust. She also appeared with this work – a very particular and very French adaptation of Goethe’s play – after the festival in the Berlin Philharmonie. In the Baden-Baden Live Lounge, the singer spoke enthusiastically about working with the orchestra: “What took my breath away in rehearsals was this incredible pianissimo. When the orchestra suddenly becomes very quiet, it is as if heaven opens.” In May 2017, in a recital in the chamber music hall, entitled In War and Peace – Harmony through Music, she presented yet another facet of her skills – as a performer of highly virtuoso arias of the Baroque period.