The English Concert • Ariodante • Carnegie Hall • April 30 2017

There are concerts you come away from with one moment locked into your memory so powerful it practically erases everything else. DiDonato’s Scherza Infida– probably the best single performance of an aria I have ever witnessed. Heart-breaking. Deep.  The music literally erupts from deep within her, for the first time, and carries her. Every inflection has a very precise emotional wavelength. This woman has understood everything. The nuances in her voice conjure an entire universe, following the music with exquisite precision, taking its cues from it and guiding it in waves, from anger to despair to tenderness to a deep sadness. Perfection. Devastating. It simply does not get any better than this. 

            Another outstanding performer in that production: Sonia Prina. Damn. I have never seen anyone like her. There is a force and lust in her butch attack of her material that made her a perfect villain (she sang Polinesso). Almost frightening, with extreme facial expressions and a staccato, very physical coloratura that was really rubbing it in, gleeful and almost sadistic, as if she was mocking someone. She reminds me of Raven O. There is something raw, almost punk about her. She is like an unruly storm. Her highly unusual approach may not work for everyone, but I found it extremely invigorating and refreshing.   She is in a class of her own – like all lesbians.

The English concert – exquisite as always. They almost spoil you for every other ensemble.