“To call Joy Davidson’s Callas a bravura creation is simply to understate her accomplishments so various in her exploration of the Callas persona … She binds us to this character by chains of fascination … Brava, La Divina”
(Allan Swofford, Theatre Critic)
Joy Davidson returns to the theatre with the same passion and theatrical intensity she brought to her 45 operatic roles touring Europe and North America. Miss Davidson appeared with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, La Scala, New York City Opera, San Francisco, Chicago Lyric and various companies in France, Germany, Spain, South America and Canada. Bizet’s Carmen was her signature role performed some 300 times in 28 different productions. Other frequently performed roles included Adalgisa, Bellini’s Norma, Azucena and Amneris, Verdi’s Il Trovatore and Aida, Charlotte, Massenet’s Werther, Dalila in Saint-Saens’ Samson et Dalila and leading roles in Menotti and Penderecki’s operas. Under the management of Columbia Artists Miss Davidson was a recitalist and appeared as guest soloist with major orchestras e.g. Maggio Musicale, Leningrad Philharmonic, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, with conductors such as Bernstein, Ozawa, Muti, Rudel and Keene in works of Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Ravel, Stravinsky.
Following her retirement from singing, she created and headed the vocal/opera department of New World School of the Arts, Miami, Florida where she and Dr. Robert Davidson raised their five children, Lisa, Scott, Jeremy, Bonnie and Jordan. Since 2001 their home has been Naples, Florida.
In addition to performances of Callas in McNally’s Master Class, Joy is touring Maria: The Life and Loves of Maria Callas by Alma H. Bond, edited by Bill Taylor, a one-woman drama in which we hear the voices of those who significantly influenced the life and career of Maria Callas. Performances include a unique opportunity for question and answer period concerning this remarkable artist who changed opera in the 20th Century by demanding theatrical reality and thus set the standards which, ever since, singing actors have been judged. Recent performances include Colorado State University in conjunction with Opera Fort Collins, Colorado which included a master class for vocal students at CSU and a sold out performance at the Kravis Center for the Arts, Rinker Theater, West Palm Beach, Florida.
A second one woman tour de force: Alice: An Evening with the Tart-tongued Alice Roosevelt Longworth by Kitty Felde was premiered at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, Florida in March 2010. Three performances each included a question and answer period with Ms. Felde and Ms. Davidson. This charming play is filled with comedic and nostalgic musings of an 80 year old Alice Roosevelt Longworth as she is interviewed by an unseen reporter from the Washington Post the week of Tricia Nixon’s wedding.
Following a performances of ALICE at the Dramatists Guild in NY the play was presented inn a new production for the 2011 Capitol Fringe Festival. 5 performances, directed by Stevie Zimmerman were presented at the Mount Theatre, Washington. D.C. Will Cooke performed the off-scene voice of T.R. Kitty Felde, Photos, reviews and articles can be found under ALICE elsewhere on this webside.
Performances of the Nurse in MEDEA (Euripedes/Jeffers) in March 2011, garnered rave reviews for Miss Davidson. Chris Silk of the Naples Daily News wrote: “Opera Singer, Joy Davidson, puts her sonorous voice to good use …. sweeps the audience into the play … left the audience gasping in horror at the tale – such is the power of her storytelling.” ”She’s a marvel of precise speech and compressed emotions.” (Drew Sterwald of Ft. Myers News Press) and Nancy Stetson of the Florida Weekly: “Joy Davidson … is one of the production’s highlights … distinctve!”
The extraordinary one woman tour-de-force, “Tea at Five” (Matthew Lombardo) based on KATHARINE HEPBURN’S autobiography, ME, was presented by Davidson at the Daniels Pavilion, Philharmonic Center for the Arts March 11 and 12, 2012. Directed and produced by Annette Trossbach. “Davidson skips ladylike around simple set, pouring tea, chatting on the phone and tell stories. Telling stories is what the actress does best because she gets to use that marvelous, beautiful, amazing, mellifluous opera-trained voice that draws you into the action so easily.” (Chris Silk, NDN Theater Critic) These performances marked 60 years on the theatrical stage for Davidson.
Photo: SAO Photography