Thursday 12 February 2015
Joyce DiDonato's Glorious Performance of Jake Heggie's Camille Claudel
The incandescent mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato presented the New York premiere of Jake Heggie’s “Camille Claudel: Into the Fire” on 5 February 2015 at Zankel Hall, New York. Part of Ms. DiDonato’s season-long Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall, this concert brings an eminent mezzo-soprano together with the eminent Brentano String Quartet. The performance received wonderful reviews by none other than the New York Times and the Financial Times.
Set for voice and string quartet, the work - an extensive ode to the agonized sculptor Rodin’s lover who died in 1943 - compresses a tragic life of operatic dimensions into a song cycle of great beauty and emotional resonance. As the Financial Times puts it,” Ever popular, obviously facile and increasingly daring, Heggie dealt sensitively with the introspective sentiments at hand. He juggled acerbic lyricism craftily with oppressive drama, adorning Gene Scheer’s text with florid wails and eerie melismas at jolting intervals.” It was perfectly paired with “Ms. DiDonato’s tender performance of their songs alongside her tribute to Claudel thus became a gesture of defiant compassion,” reports the New York Times.
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