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Mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle has enoyed an active and widely varied opera career for the last four decades.
Mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle brings her finely crafted interpretation of Baba from the stage to the Cedille recording of The Medium. Her distinguished international career includes such diverse roles as Claire Zakanassian in Von Einem’s The Visit of the Old Lady (New York premiere), Alla Nazimova in Argento’s The Dream of Valentino (world premiere), Augusta Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Klytemnestra in Elektra, and Fricka and Waltraute in The Ring. Of her performances, New York critic Bill Zakariasen wrote “In the dual assignment of Fricka and Waltraute Joyce Castle decisively proved her preeminence among mezzo-sopranos.”
Miss Castle has performed as a principal artist in over a dozen productions at the Metropolitan Opera including Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Frugala in Il tabarro and Zita in Gianni Schicchi. At the New York City Opera she has performed Mrs. Lovett in the Hal Prince production of Sweeney Todd, Madame d’Urfe in the New York premiere of Argento’s Casanova, Augusta Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Baba the Turk in the Hockney production of The Rake’s Progress, Fata Morgana in The Love for Three Oranges, and the Old Lady in Candide. She has also sung with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe opera, Seattle Opera, and the Washington Opera, and appears regularly at opera houses throughout Canada and Europe.
Joyce Castle has performed and recorded a wide variety of twentieth century music. In repertoire ranging from Bernstein to Ligeti and Weill, she has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, San Franciso Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Accademia de Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre Nationale de France, and the Jerusalem Symphony. Miss Castle may be heard on New World Records’ Grammy Award winning recording of Candide, the Koch International Classics’ recording titled The Music of Stefan Wolpe, and was chosen by Stephen Sondheim to record “Send in the Clowns” for the Book-of-the-Month collection, Sondheim.
Joyce Castle’s association with the operas of Gian Carlo Menotti began early in her career with performances of The Saint of Bleecker Street (Assunta). She has since performed the Mother in The Consul at L’Opera de Montréal and recorded Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief for Radio France. This recording of The Medium reflects an interpretation developed through two production representing over forty performances of the work.