Joyce DiDonato Opens Her “Rossini Season” as Rosina in the Metropolitan Opera’s Scintillating Production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Opens on October 3rd with EMI Virgin Classics Releasing Her New Recording of Rossini Arias Three Days Later

Rossini is much on the menu for Joyce DiDonato’s year ahead. The mezzo begins the season with her inimitable portrayal of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Metropolitan Opera on October 3, and just a few days later, on October 6, she celebrates the release of Rossini - Joyce DiDonato – Colbran, the Muse, her second solo arias collection on EMI/Virgin Classics, for which she records exclusively. Two other opera companies are fortunate to present DiDonato’s world-famous portrayal of Rosina during the season: Los Angeles Opera, where she makes her debut on November 29, and later Milan’s La Scala, to which she returns on July 9. DiDonato’s Rosina is already legendary, having been watched by millions in opera houses, transmissions and broadcasts throughout the U.S. and the world. The much talked-about portrayal was captured and screened in an early Met: Live in HD transmission, with popular and frequent repeat screenings on TV and in theaters, and, more recently, free in the Lincoln Center Plaza (in front of the Met) earlier in September. When DiDonato broke her leg during a June performance of Barbiere at London’s Covent Garden , laudably finishing the run of shows wearing a bright pink cast while navigating the set in a wheelchair, the role of Rosina was unequivocally hers. Late next spring, another Rossini opera, La donna del Lago, provides the setting for DiDonato’s ninth role debut in six seasons when she sings Elena in Geneva (May 5); she reprises the part a few weeks later at the Paris Opéra with tenor Juan Diego Flórez (June 14).

Setting aside her signature role and her season composer, in February Joyce DiDonato returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to sing Mozart: Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. DiDonato glittered as Cherubino in her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2005, a portrayal Opera News described as "frisky and emotionally true ... An artist at the top of her game”. In this Lyric Opera of Chicago production, DiDonato joins an all-star cast that includes Danielle de Niese as Susanna and Anne Schwanewilms as the Countess.

DiDonato’s Rossini arias on CD On her new EMI/Virgin Classics CD, DiDonato – Rossini Arias – Colbran, the Muse, the follow-up to last season’s Billboard-charting Furore - Handel Opera Arias, DiDonato sings scenes from six operas that Rossini composed for the Spanish soprano Isabella Colbran (1785-1845), his muse and wife. They include two of Elena’s scenes from La donna del Lago (including the famous showpiece “Tanti affetti”), as well as arias from Rossini’s Otello, Semiramide, Armida, Maometto II, and Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra. DiDonato sings the substantial program with the chorus and orchestra of Rome’s Accademia di Santa Cecilia under the baton of veteran bel canto specialist Edoardo Müller. DiDonato’s famous rendition of “Una voce poco fa” from Il barbiere di Siviglia is not on the CD – but it will be available from EMI/Virgin Classics as a special exclusive download on iTunes from October 6, the day the CD is launched at retail as well as on iTunes.

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