Diva Divo (2011)
Edgaras Montvidas (tenor), Elena Semenova (soprano), Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano), Nabil Suliman (baritone), Paolo Stupenengo (bass), Pascale Obrecht (mezzo-soprano), Lyon National Opera Chorus (choir, chorus), Lyon National Opera Orchestra
composed by Charles Gounod, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Gioachino Rossini, Hector Berlioz, Jules Massenet, Richard Strauss, Vincenzo Bellini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The frequency with which mezzo sopranos are called on to play male roles lies behind the ingenious premise for Diva Divo. Joyce DiDonato has selected ... Show synopsis The frequency with which mezzo sopranos are called on to play male roles lies behind the ingenious premise for Diva Divo. Joyce DiDonato has selected pairs of operas that basically have the same plot or source, and sings an aria from a role written for a male character from one, and for a female character from the other. Sometimes both of the operas are well known, as in the case of Faust and La Damnation de Faust. Generally, though, this involves pairing a familiar opera with one less familiar (La Clemenza di Tito by Mozart and Gluck, two of the nearly 40 settings of Metastasio's libretto), with the prolific Massenet providing three of the dark horses: Chérubin for Le nozze di Figaro, Cendrillon for La cenerentola, and Ariadne for Ariadne auf Naxos. Because of the composers' differing styles and sensibilities, it would not be immediately evident to someone unfamiliar with the music to detect which of the paired arias was for a man and which was for a woman. Mozart's Vitellia, in fact, sounds...