Presenting Performance Arts since 1982
EDEN – Joyce DiDonato & Il Pomo d’Oro
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
Place des Arts

260 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West

CONCERT : 4 p.m.
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514 842-2112
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260 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West


1600 Saint-Urbain Street

A musical ode to nature

“DiDonato’s voice is truly one of nature’s great
wonders: luminous, silken, flexible, full of colors
and expressive shadings […]” – NPR


Celebrating the majesty, power and mystery of nature through striking and evocative music and theatrical effects, this breathtaking tour de force by multi-award-winning Joyce DiDonato takes us on an emotional journey which intends to reconnect us to the strength and fragility of nature, while pushing us to explore our place within the marvelous and kaleidoscopic world that surrounds us.

With a voice “nothing less than 24 karat gold”, according to the Times (London, UK), soprano Joyce DiDonato is not only one of the finest singers in the world of opera, but one of its most theatrical and imaginative. Travelling seamlessly through four centuries of music from Gluck, Handel and Cavalli to Mahler, Ives with a new commission from Academy Award-winning British composer Rachel Portman, Joyce DiDonato will be accompanied by the original instrumental ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, under the direction of violinist Zefira Valova, actor Manuel Palazzo and a children’s choir from Montreal in a staging by director as well as French director Marie Lambert-Le Bihan.

“Il Pomo d’Oro is proving to be one
of the most brilliant ensembles on the early
music stage today.“
– BBC Music Magazine


Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano, executive producer
Zefira Valova, violin, conductor
Il Pomo d’Oro
Manuel Palazzo
, actor
Marie Lambert-Le Bihan, staging
John Torres, lights
A Montreal children’s choir

Website: EDEN – Joyce DiDonato
Website: Joyce DiDonato

TO LISTEN: EDEN – Joyce DiDonato – Album
TO LOOK AT: Introducing EDEN by Joyce DiDonato
TO LOOK AT: EDEN: Joyce DiDonato – The Circle, Part 1 (Mahler: Rückert-Lieder: « Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft!”)

Joyce DiDonato

American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato receives rave reviews wherever she performs, not only for her virtuosity but also for her engaging personality, positive attitude and easy flow of communication.

In addition to performing roles in Handel and Mozart operas and in bel canto masterpieces, she has also appeared in works by contemporary American composers such as Jake Heggie’s Great Scott and Dead Man WalkingResurrection by Tod Machover and Little Women by Mark Adamo. Metropolitan Opera broadcast viewers have seen her in Il barbiere di SivigliaLe comte OryLa Cenerentola and La donna del lago by Rossini as well as in the pastiche The Enchanted IslandMaria Stuarda by Donizetti, Norma by Bellini, Cendrillon by Massenet and Agrippina by Handel.

Besides numerous audio and video recordings, including Berlioz’s critically acclaimed, rarely performed and recorded opera, Les Troyens, she also released thematic albums on the Erato/Warner label, like Furore: Mad Scenes from Handel OperasDiva DivoDrama QueensStella di Napoli et In War & Peace: Harmony through Music.

Her Eden album with Il Pomo d’Oro, featured in this concert, won the 2022 Opus Klassik Award for Solo Vocal Recording of the Year and is nominated for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Its varied repertoire is centred on the theme of nature and the connection that humans have with it.

Il Pomo d’Oro

Founded in 2012, the Il Pomo d’Oro ensemble gets its name from a large-scale opera written in 1666 by Antonio Cesti. It performs baroque and classical music on period instruments. Since 2016, it has been conducted primarily by Maxim Emelyanychev, who is also the principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Concert artist Zefira Valova leads the orchestra in various projects.

Il Pomo d’Oro’s discography includes recordings with some of today’s greatest countertenors, like Jakub Józef Orliński (Facce d’amoreAnima sacra, Anima aeterna), and renowned sopranos such as Emőke Baráth (Voglio cantar) and Lisette Oropesa (Ombra compagna). The orchestra also works closely with Joyce DiDonato, specifically for a recording of Handel’s Agrippina and DiDonato’s In War & Peace and Eden albums.

Il Pomo d’Oro is the official ambassador of El Sistema Greece, a humanitarian project focused on providing free musical education to migrant children in the refugee camps in Greece.

Zefira Valova

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she earned her master’s degree at the National Music Academy, Zefira Valova specialized in baroque violin at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Lucy van Dael. Initially first violin in various orchestras in her native country, where she was one of the founders of the Sofia Baroque Art Festival, she has held the same position in the Il Pomo d’Oro ensemble since 2015. She also collaborates with ensembles such as the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She plays an instrument created by Lorenzo and Tomaso Carcassi (Florence, 1760) provided by the Jumpstart Jr. Foundation (Amsterdam).

Manuel Palazzo

Argentinian Choreographer Manuel Palazzo started studying ballet at a very young age at Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires). He works with the Metropolitan Opera frequently, and dances at the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona) and the Teatro Real (Madrid). Among the directors he has worked with are Sir David McVicar, Harold Prince, Laurent Pelly and Robert Lepage.

EDEN – Joyce DiDonato

Charles IVES (1874-1954)
The Unanswered Question (1908)

Rachel PORTMAN (born in 1960)
The First Morning of the World
Text: Gene Scheer

Commissioned by Linda Nelson in memory of her beloved Stuart

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Rückert-Lieder: II. “Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft!”
Text: Friedrich Rückert

Mario UCCELLINI (1603 ou 1610-1680)
Sinfonia terza (a cinque stromenti) op. 7 (1660)

Biagio MARINI (1594-1663)
Scherzi e canzone, op. 5 (1622) : III. “Con le stelle in Ciel che mai” (Natività di Christo, per canto solo da cantarsi nel chitarrone)
Text: anon.

Josef MYSLIVEČEK (1737-1781)
Aria: “Toglierò le sponde al mare” (Angelo di giustizia)
Libretto: Giovanni Granelli
Oratorio Adamo ed Eva (Part II) (1771)

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990)
Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson for voice and chamber orchestra (1950, orch. 1958-1970):
I. Nature, the gentlest mother

Giovanni VALENTINI (v. 1582-1649)
Sonata enharmonica (v. 1617?)

Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676)
Aria: “Piante ombrose” (Calisto)
Libretto: Giovanni Faustini
Opera La Calisto (Act I, Scene 14) (1651)

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787)
Danza degli spettri e delle furie: Allegro non troppo
Opera Orfeo ed Euridice Wq. 30, Act 2 (version of 1774)
Opera Ezio Wq. 15 (version of 1750)
Libretto: Pietro Metastasio

Christoph Willibald GLUCK
Recitativo accompagnato: “Misera, dove son!”…

Christoph Willibald GLUCK
Aria: “Ah! non son io che parlo” (Fulvia)

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Aria: “As with rosy steps the morn” (Irene)
Dramatic oratorio Theodora HWV 68 (Part I)

Rückert-Lieder (1901-1902): III. “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen”
Text: Friedrich Rückert


Composed by the Children of the Canterbury Choir, Bishop Ramsey CE School, England, with Mike Roberts

Recitativo: “Frondi tenere e belle”…
Aria: “Ombra mai fu” (Serse)
Opera Serse HWV 40 (Act I, Scene 1) (1738)

Joyce DiDonato would like to graciously thank the following for their generous support of EDEN:

Sara Morgan, Ann Ziff, John Studzinski, Franci Neely, Helen Berggruen, McDermott Foundation, Linda Nelson, Kern Wildenthal, John Singer, Michael Beverley DL, The Getty Foundation, David Jacobs, Eva Haller, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon Foundation, Sir Simon Robey, Katherine G. Farley, Tom and Pamela Frame, Ellen Marcus, and Richard Gaddes.

EDEN has been commissioned by University Musical Society of the University of Michigan; the Harriman-Jewell Series, Kansas City; Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation; Cal Performances at University of California, Berkeley; Stanford Live; and UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures.

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