A singer that caught my attention recently was Joyce DiDonato. I think her sound is very balanced and her technique is healthy. And she is a good singing actress. What is your impression? She sings with such a free emission that is impressive.
Thanks for bringing her up. I have seen her performances on the Richard Tucker Gala a couple times, one of which I have included below. I know she is becoming very popular, and she is a very good artist. My personal feelings, which really shouldn’t be an issue for anyone, are that I wouldn’t rush out and buy a ticket if she did a concert in my city. I agree with your points above. But her function still lies on the modern side of balance. What I mean is she sings with the typical looseness in the breath that is standard for today. It is not to as great of a degree as someone like Renee Fleming so it is not as disagreeable or obvious. This is part of why I am a little indifferent to her. 

The tone is still a little too fat to be something I would recommend as a model. And I should emphasize that is what I’m doing on this blog. I’m not saying this singer is great and that singer is awful. I’m trying to show examples of the concepts I’m talking about here to help people understand them. I’m not saying anyone should not like the modern singers I use as examples. These singers are very good artists or they wouldn’t gain the attention they have. 
This brings up the point that there are two kinds of art in play with a singer. There is the art of creating music, which comes from the person and can be accomplished with any voice or instrument. Then there is the art of using the voice. This is the hidden art because everyone is mainly concerned with the art of expression and making music. But using the voice is an art unto itself that can be appreciated for its own worth, even if the purpose of it is a means to express the art of music. 
And so this is the art I am most concerned with because it is the one that gets neglected. And it is not just a matter of opinion. The art of using the voice can be quantified in terms of efficient function that can be heard when you know what to listen for.  One of the primary qualities I listen for is clarity. And most modern singers that I have heard lack this fundamental quality. Clarity is what allows us to be audible at a distance without resorting to excess loudness.
So, my feelings are, like many modern singers Joyce DiDonato is a fine expressive artist that pleases a very large audience around the world. But I am trying to raise the awareness of modern singers to the qualities that the natural behavior of the vocal instrument requires. As represented by the older generation of singers. And DiDonato is not a model of those qualities.