Joyce DiDonato: University Musical Society.:
Celebrated lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is the “perfect 21st-century diva—an effortless combination of glamour, charisma, intelligence, grace, and remarkable talent,” says a New York Times critic. DiDonato is known both for the quality of her voice and for defying expectations (her habitual recital encore is “Over the Rainbow,” for example). Tonight’s show, Eden, is her most recent experiment, a program of music about nature with accompaniment by the renowned 25-member historical performance orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro, conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev, and dramatic staging by French stage director Marie Lambert-Le Bihan. The program opens with Charles Ives’ enigmatic “The Unanswered Question” (1908), in which DiDonato sings lines usually assigned to a trumpet, and contemporary composer Rachel Portman’s “The First Morning of the World,” a commissioned work with lyrics by poet Gene Scheer. Also, works by Handel, Cavalli, Gluck, Mahler, Wagner, Valentini, Marini, and Mysliveček. A Gramophone review, while noting uncomfortable junctures between “sensational” individual performances, praises DiDonato’s “crystalline coloratura” and Il Pomo d’Oro’s “thrilling accompaniment.” 7:30 p.m. Hill Auditorium. $15–$72 (students $12–$20). Preregistration required at ums.org/performance/eden-starring-joyce-didonato or 764–2538. Mask and proof of vaccination required., . . . . . .