Joyce DiDonato pulls out of Handel tour ‘for medical reasons’

Joyce DiDonato pulls out of Handel tour ‘for medical reasons’


norman lebrecht

April 12, 2017

The diva was first to announce it on her Facebook page: 

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that I must unfortunately withdraw from the upcoming European performances of Ariodante on tour with Harry Bicket and The English Concert. Good news for YOU is that the incredible Alice Coote has made herself available to fill in … details in the video. I am, however, still able to do the American portion of the tour and very much look forward to revisiting this incredible role. PS – I’ll be fine! :-))”

The Barbican followed up with:

It is with deep regret that Joyce DiDonato has announced that she will not be able to participate in the European performances of Ariodante with Harry Bicket and The English Concert due to a medical procedure. She is immensely sorry to disappoint her fans and admirers but is hugely grateful to the wonderful Alice Coote for stepping in for the European concerts, and to Harry Bicket and The English Concert for their support and understanding. Joyce is looking forward to singing the American tour dates.

A cyst op, apparently.



    This is newsworthy really only because it is so unusual. Joyce sets the gold standard for commitment and dedication, and virtually never pulls out of anything. But evidently she has a medical issue,which isn’t especially serious but does need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

    From a selfish perspective I’m disappointed as I am flying back early from Barcelona specifically for the concert in London. But at least, rather than cancelling at the last minute, she has given as long notice as she can; and she has gone the extra mile in being open about what most would regard as a deeply private issue. If only all artists, especially those of her eminence, had the professionalism, openness, courage and grace that she has.

    • Una says:

      Alice Coote is just as wonderful and a fine British singer and woman.

      • Respect says:

        And far less publicity obsessed.

        • Marg says:

          A disrespectful and uncalled for comment ‘Respect’. Joyce loves her fans, and chooses to actively engage with them. She is not publicity obsessed. Richard Cumming-Bruce said it so well above. I wish Joyce the best with this medical issue, and look forward to hearing she is back on stage quickly.

        • Scrupulous1 says:

          You’ve got to be kidding. Coote plays far more with the media than JDD ever has. But she sings Händel that is as good as JDD.

  • AMetFan says:

    Please, spare us the publicity rant. These are careers, not religious callings.

  • Ben says:

    So, people manage to use this to have a go at both DiDonato and Coote. They are both, to my mind, excellent performers. If they didn’t connect with their fans, they would be aloof and snobbish; because they do, they are publicity hungry. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    It probably sums up why I love opera but hate opera bores.