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Bel Canto Arias


Bel Canto Arias


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Following the success of her crowd-sourced 'Best Of' collection "reJoyce" and her electrifying 'Drama Queens' album of Baroque arias, Joyce DiDonato returns to her heartland repertoire to celebrate the birth of Bel Canto opera in 19th c. Naples. On Stella di Napoli (Star of Naples), the American mezzo-soprano's creamy tone and dramatic prowess breathe new life into little-known arias by Mercadante, Michele Carafa (a student of Cherubini and close friend of Rossini), Carlo Valentini and the prolific opera composer Giovanni Pacini, whose Stella di Napoli (1845) gives the album it's title. Joyce worked closely with Italian conductor Riccardo Minasi (whose previous projects include Bellini's Norma with Cecilia Bartoli) to bring three unjustly neglected arias to light in new editions and world premiere recordings. Alongside these little-known gems, Joyce presents a sumptuous Bel Canto banquet with music by the three greats - Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti - including the latter's Maria Stuarda: A tour-de-force DiDonato signature role. Ms. DiDonato won a 2013 Grammy for her last Bel Canto album "Diva, Divo," declared "an ideal vehicle for her glorious mezzo voice in which the most fiendish coloratura ornaments and trills sound effortless". (The Observer)


"The aria from Maria Stuarda which DiDonato sings so triumphantly is but one highlight on this sumptuous disc from one of today's most impressive singers." --November 2014 Gramophone Editor's Choice

"Here Didonato is in top form, tossing off staccatos, trills, arpeggios, repeated notes and chromatics with astonishing accuracy and energy." --Opera News, November 2014

A rarely heard student piece by Bellini makes an opulent platform for today's most exciting opera singer. "Dopo l'oscuro nembo" --Tom Huizenga, NPR Songs of 2014

"Operatically speaking, 2014 might as well be subtitled "The Year of Joyce DiDonato." There she was singing the National Anthem at the final game of the World Series, in front of her beloved Royals; inaugurating the first video broadcast from Carnegie Hall from Medici TV; and headlining the Perspective series, also at Carnegie. But the feather in DiDonato's 2014 cap just might be this remarkable album of 19th-century arias from Naples. It's a feast of bel canto thrills, from the finale of Rossini's opera Zelmira to shapely traversals of two gorgeous Bellini arias, along with a sampler platter of names nearly forgotten: Pacini, Carafa, Mercadante and Valenti." --Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR Best Classical Albums of 2014

Bel Canto Arias


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