Joyce DiDonato Debuts in Buenos Aires

ArgentinaArgentina Obradors, Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Hahn, Donaudy, Di Chiara: Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano) with David Zobel (piano), Mozarteum Argentino at Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires. 27.8.2012. (JSJ)

Joyce DiDonato in concert at Teatro Colón. (Photo Liliana Morsia)

There must be few superlatives left to describe Joyce DiDonato in performance, and her debut concert at the Teatro Colón for the Mozarteum Argentino on August 27 was no exception.

The concert, the first of two for the organization, not only marked her Argentine debut, but also formed part of a South American concert tour, which started off at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago and also includes Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

No doubt considering the audience the program was chosen to be interesting and varied, including some of the Baroque and bel canto repertoire for which Ms DiDonato is best known but also some lesser known Spanish and Italian songs.

To start a series of seven songs by Obradors, which in their variety themselves demonstrated the almost infinite shades of colour and range of Ms DiDonato’s voice. Then “Oh sleep why dost thou leave me” from Semele and “Dopo notte” from Ariodante from Handel, “Voi che sapete” and “De, vieni, non tardar” from The Marriage of Figaro, and “Una voce poco fa” from The Barber of Seville and Desdemona’s “Assisa a pie d’un salice” from Rossini’s Otello.

Other songs were Hahn’s series of five Venetian songs, Donaudy’s “O del mio amato ben” and Di Chiara’s “La Spagnola” – not forgetting the three wonderful encores including Rossini’s “Canzonetta spagnuola” and “Fra il padre” from La donna del lago.

And accompanying her long time accompanist David Zobel played impeccably.

Interestingly Ms DiDonato chose to introduce her program in Italian, presumably – and questionably – assuming that it would be more widely understood than her native tongue. And not even the sounding of an errant alarm could dim her obvious delight and enthusiasm in what she was doing and occurring just before Rosina’s “Una voce poco fa”, with quick wit, she attributed it to the doings of Dr Bartolo!

Jonathan Spencer Jones

Caption: Joyce DiDonato in concert at Teatro Colón. (Photo Liliana Morsia)