I figure if Joyce DiDonato is going to take over my life, the best thing to do is just sit back and let her. Such a sacrifice, such suffering — another gorgeous mezzo to contend with. Woe is me, and so on. Hard to pinpoint what precisely it is that's triggered my increased interest in the lovely Joyce. After all I've been listening to her on Amor e gelosia with Patrizia for months. And I've enjoyed her and would have welcomed other opportunities to hear her — but it wasn't life and death, and I didn't seek the opportunities out or feel the compulsion to do so. Until suddenly I did, just a couple of weeks ago. I saw Pasion and knew firstly that it must be mine and secondly that it would be wonderful. Right, and right again. I ordered her Wigmore Hall recital. My excitement when it arrived on Friday surprised even me — not to mention those around me, who I don't think have ever seen me jump up and down with glee before. I haven't bought it yet; that's Monday's task.
But in the meantime, it occured to me at nine this evening to see what Met broadcast was, knowing it would be half over. What do you think? Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Joyce and Juan Diego. Perfect. I would have settled for Joyce and any old tenor. Even without "Una voce poco fa" and "Dunque io son" to glory in, she still gave me plenty of reasons to be happy. Oh, but Joyce and Juan Diego? E troppo. Well, not quite but just about much bel canto bliss as a girl can stand. My, but the boy can sing. I wonder those on stage with him don't just break character and applaud him along with everybody else — how could you not? How could you stay focused on your own job when he's there sounding like that? Listening to Juan Diego makes me realise I'm one of those people, I'm part of that generation — you know, the one which in decades to come will be envied by future opera fanatics, because we were alive and following opera when he was active. And how brilliantly reassuring to discover that he's as staggeringly perfect in the one-shot setting of a live performance as he is in the studio, that all that technical perfection is a natural function and not an artificial creation. Not that I imagined for a moment it was but it's nice to have real proof.
This started with Joyce and has become about him. Well, no matter. They both deserve my adoration and adulation and anything else I can offer. Tomorrow night I bring home her Wigmore Hall recital. I've heard it once through already, though in a distracted background kind of way; even that was enough to know that it's for me, though. Next on the list I suppose is her La Cenerentola — thankfully on Naxos and thus ridiculously cheap. I like her a lot. It's always nice welcoming someone new into the fold.