Vocal tips for opera singers: Joyce DiDonato Masterclass in full (The Royal Opera)

World renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato gives a vocal masterclass with artists from the National Opera Studio as part of the Royal Opera House Insights series. Find out more at

American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato made her Royal Opera debut in 2003 as Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), and has since returned to sing Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni, including on tour with The Royal Opera to Japan), Cendrillon, Elena (La donna del lago), Maria Stuarda, Charlotte (Werther) and in Plácido Domingo’s 2012 Operalia concert. She returns in the 2017/18 Season to sing Semiramide and in a main-stage recital with Antonio Pappano.

DiDonato grew up in Kansas and studied music education at Wichita State University and singing at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia, on the Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singer Program (1995) and on San Francisco Opera’s Merola Young Artists Program (1997). She won second prize in Operalia in 1998 and has gone on to win international acclaim in bel canto and other repertories. Engagements include Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos), Sycorax (The Enchanted Island), Angelina (La Cenerentola), Isolier (Le Comte Ory) and Maria Stuarda for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Cendrillon for the Liceu, Barcelona, Rosina for Vienna State Opera, Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) for La Scala, Milan, Idamante (Idomeneo) for Paris Opéra and Edinburgh Festival, Elena for Paris Opéra and Santa Fe Festival and Sister Helen Prejean (Heggie’s Dead Man Walking), Béatrice (Béatrice et Bénédict) for Houston Grand Opera, Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi) in concert for Deutsche Oper Berlin and Didon (Les Troyens) with Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra.

DiDonato appears regularly at the world’s leading concert halls and sang at the 2013 BBC Last Night of the Proms. Her wide discography includes seven solo albums. She was the 2010 Gramophone Artist of the Year, won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo in 2012 and in 2015 won Female Singer of the Year at the ECHO Klassik Awards.

41 thoughts on “Vocal tips for opera singers: Joyce DiDonato Masterclass in full (The Royal Opera)”

  1. I love this but the first woman Pauline needs to work on her facial expressions.. so ANGRY and she crosses her eyes all the time…had to stop laughing to listen.. love her voice. Joyce Di Donato is brilliant I enjoyed her working with these talented singers

  2. What an amazing Teacher! She really brought out greatness in those students! Just Wow! Very impressed. Would that all teachers had such passion for the subjects they teach!

  3. Цзиньнун Ши

    这是我听过最棒的大师课,尽管英语听懂的不过,但是在Joyce老师的指导下,每位学生都有很大的改变,真棒👍👍👍

  4. Min. 49:06

    Big keys to success
    ¹ Know what you do better than most people and do that.
    ² Know what your biggest weakness is and improve it so that it doesn’t control you.

  5. Alexandra Rieloff

    This is so beautiful, and Joyce DiDonato is a Master and a delight. I will never be an opera singer, but I learned so much from listening to her. To can truly see and ‘feel’, the adjustments she brings to these very courageous students. The Sing-Sing story blew me away. If anyone understand the tragedy of life and death it’s an opera singer.

  6. Joyce is so expressive with hand and body shapes? How the singers understand this is truly amazing! Feeling the twists and turns, and ‘spins?’ I wish I understood it? Breath control?? Incredible! Plus the musical maths!! Wow!! Vibrato beating 16ths?

  7. MY PROBLEM WITH OPERA AND WHY I DON’T LIKE IT IS BECAUSE ALL THE SINGERS SOUND THE SAME. I TOOK CLASSICAL SINGING LESSONS LIKE THIS FOR A FEW YEARS AND I ABSOLUTELY HATED IT. I FELT THE WAY I WAS BEING TAUGHT TO SING WAS FORCED AND NOT A NATURAL SOUND. I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME TO ME. I PREFER SINGING LIKE ME…AND NOT SOME MOLD LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

  8. Why do all those people look like they’re going to commit suicide? I swear I would have had to walk off the stage! What is wrong with people

  9. Getting a masterclass from someone with a voice and technique as poor as Di Donato is extremely ironic.
    Keep delivering untalented singers like her, Netrebko, Damrau and the whole bunch.

  10. Claudette Simonet

    La jeune fille à la jupe verte sort du lot. Elle est promise à un bel avenir, avec encore un peu de travail je pense qu elle ira loin. Félicitations !

  11. the great Agnes Baltsa

    And how brave the last student is… to sing Non piu mesta, such a difficult coloratura aria of Rossini..and she’s actually not bad. And quite clever enough to understand what she’s taught. Anyone who sings Rossini’s aria should be especially careful not to make the agile notes as if it were a kikiriki.

  12. The evidence below that people actually think she can teach anybody is further proof that students and practitioners today know next to nothing about opera. Sad.

  13. Gregory Hoehner

    I thought of Baroque opera as static compared to later era. But Ms DiD brought out such rich meaning from the Purcell piece and its sensitive singer. I had to watch and re-watch the transformation.

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