BEAVER CREEK — Diva: a distinguished female singer; prima donna. Though the word now carries connotations of a high-maintenance, demanding person, a diva is historically a lauded female singer, most often in the opera genre. Joyce DiDonato is a diva. Of the world-renowned, Grammy winning sort.
The international opera singer and Grammy award winner will perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek this evening as part of the VPAC’s classical series.
Originally from Kansas, DiDonato is not your typical diva.
“Often opera stars get this reputation of being divas or being high maintenance and that personality projects on stage,” said Kate Peters, senior marketing manager for the Vail Valley Foundation. “Joyce is a little bit different, personality wise. She’s a very accessible opera artist.”
This open and accessible personality can be seen not only from the stage, but also in how she interacts with her fans. From writing a blog to corresponding on Twitter, DiDonato, exudes a fun and open spirit, tweeting “In Mexico this evening, but can’t WAIT to get to #Vail Colorado to perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. #ComeInOffTheSlopes” a few days ago.
While it’s her first time performing in the Vail Valley, DiDonato will be the most recent in a long line of internationally recognized opera superstars to perform at the VPAC.
“We started this with bringing in Renee Fleming (who performed the national anthem at the Super Bowl this past weekend) and it was, at that time, an opportunity that we thought we’d never be able to do, to have an artist at the top of their field in our mountain town,” explained Kris Sabel, executive director of the VPAC. “We started there and it has since become a tradition that we try to bring someone who is at the top of their form, receiving international acclaim. In many cases, it’s artists you can’t see anywhere else.”
DiDonato certainly fits into that category.
“Joyce is one of the hottest commodities in the opera world,” Sabel continued. “She’s getting rave reviews from around the world for any opera she sings. We’re very fortunate to be able to bring that to our community.”
The audience is in for a treat with DiDonato’s visit,” said Peters. “Not only is it a solo performance, which rarely occurs in the United States, but DiDonato has promised that her program will be comprised of ‘all hummable tunes.’”
Yes, as a matter of fact.
From an homage to Cleopatra, the ultimate drama queen, to favorites from “Le nozze di Figaro” (The Marriage of Figaro) and “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” (The Barber of Seville) the performance is sure to leave attendees as enraptured by DiDonato as the rest of the world has become.
“This is what completely ignites my passion as a singer and as a woman,” said DiDonato in a recent article. “The idea that through this magical, mystical, masterful world of opera, an often stubborn, buried portal of feeling deep within us can be unleashed via the true, raw emotions carried to us on those perfect, vibrating waves of sound, connecting us over the centuries, across gender barriers, political divides, class or culture gulfs, and reminding us that we are all indeed, unquestionably, irrevocably connected.”