Joyce DiDonato is the American opera singer par excellence. Onstage or off, there are few people in opera who radiate this Kansas native's degree of natural goodness and warmth. For all these qualities, however, the intensity, fury, and abandon of roles such as Donizetti's Maria Stuarda are well within her emotional range, as she proved at Houston Grand Opera last season. This season she performs a recital program called "Drama Queens," featuring Baroque arias sung by royal characters (recorded by Virgin Records). Operatic appearances include a reprise of the title role in Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera, Romeo in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi in Munich and Kansas City, Elena in Rossini's La donna del lago in Santa Fe, and the title role in Cendrillon in Barcelona.