[Things to do if you need a pick-me-up on this Monday morning: 1) Have a friend send you a message saying “But have you looked at DiDonato in Barcelona?” (the things one misses when looking at sopranos in Brussels!) because oh my. 2) Do a Google image search on “DiDonato +Capuleti” and sigh happily at the bounty. And be grateful that there are singers who throw themselves into a heartthrob Romeo or five with the same gusto as into mad queens or spunky maidens.- Patrizia Ciofi (Giulietta) and Joyce DiDonato (Romeo) in Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”, Barcelona 2016. – Photo Credit: Antoni Bofill/Liceu]
There are singers who proclaim in many an interview they give just how *odd* it is to play trouser roles or how happy they are to retire them, soon. Others, thankfully, don’t feel quite as limited by offstage gender presentation or ideas of “naturalness” (on the opera stage, to boot. The mind boggles.)
I’d happily watch e.g. Petibon sing a potted plan or the third star from the left or an ant colony, and am convinced it would resonate with me (in shocking news, it would not make me think she actually is an ant colony offstage. (But if she were, that would be none of my business)).
I will also watch and listen to DiDonato giving us as many Romeo portrayals as she is willing to create and I will love every single one of them.
We’ve had Velvet Ponytail Romeo in Paris. We’ve had Leather Lacroix Romeo in Munich, and San Francisco, and now Barcelona. We’ve had Space Knight Romeo in Kansas and Godfather Romeo in Zurich. Not to forget a slew of concert appearances with “Se Romeo t’uccisse un figlio”, or with the full part, as recently in Berlin (look at this photo gallery because sweet merciful Zeus!).
We are so lucky.
(In related news, I’ve got my “Ariodante” ticket for next season and I am one very happy camper.)