Holy mother of mezzos: Joyce DiDonato

«It still upsets me the way men are held to very different standards to women. I’m very curious how that will play out as we go into the US presidential election. My big ambition is to sing at the inauguration of President Hillary Clinton.»

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Ok, so I have a lot of spare time in July. I therefore went on a masterclass-binge on Youtube. While spooning my dog. Despite the heat.

Among the many masterclasses online there was a fireball named Joyce Didonato. Wow. If I could sing, I would be very honored to stand before her and grow into bigger shoes. You can actually see the singers develop on the screen. To be honest, I knew she was amazing – but HELLO. She gives her students absolutely everything. Wonder how she recharges and goes on to the next ? Baffled.

So now I have started yet another mezzoloveaffair. Its starting to get a bit complicated. #YOLO.

Have a look and a listen:  Carnegie Hall – 2015, masterclass    (“Piangerò la sorte mia” from Giulio Cesare)

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After watching YouTube for an inappropriate amount of time , I learned she is a multi Grammy Award winner, born into a dedicated catholic family in Kansas, USA.  Her father was the church choir director and her mother the organist. She loves sports, she has worked all over the world and feels she doesn´t need the stage, but see`s it as a bonus to life. She has used her raised profile to promote issues of equality – most prominently around LGBT – and to campaign for arts education. To describe her further, I borrow the words of Jake Heggie from Gramophone, because I couldn`t agree more:

“The staggering, joyful artistry of Joyce DiDonato reminds us that in any generation there are a few giants. Joyce is not only a great, brave and inspiring artist – one of the finest singers of our time- but she is also a transformative presence in the arts. Those who know her repertoire are in awe of her gifts, and those who know nothing of it are instantly engaged. Joyce sings and the world is suddenly brighter. She compels us to listen actively, to hear things anew.”

 

Also, here is a picture of Joyce being all natural and relaxed. As one looks when rehearsing music on the floor. thumb_JDD_VirginClassics41_1024

#OperaRocks – Joyce also does wonderful things for the younger generation, among those several high school students who wants to learn more about opera and meet others who also loves opera. The project is called OperaRocks and you can read all about it here.  Joyce, YOU rock! 

Living in a world that increasingly compartmentalises young people as just another demographic can leave them only experiencing things other people think they should see. The arts can play an important role in creating new experiences and breaking down boundaries. I personally will never forget when my 6th grade teacher took our class to (my first) a play at the Nationaltheater in Oslo and how I during the whole performance almost forgot to breathe. It still stands as one of the most influential moments in my life, because I learned something about the world that day. And I learned important things about myself. Therefore I feel it is a great gift that a person of her caliber and passion, leads those who needs leading – towards the arts. BRAVA!

The world needs you. Now, the world may not exactly realize it, but wow, does it need you. It is yearning, starving, dying for you and your healing offer of service through your Art. We need you to help us understand that which is bigger than ourselves, so that we can stop feeling so small, so isolated, so helpless that, in our fear, we stop contributing that which is unique to us: that distinct, rare, individual quality which the world is desperately crying out for and eagerly awaiting. We need you to remind us what unbridled, unfiltered, childlike exuberance feels like, so we remember, without apology or disclaimer, to laugh, to play, to FLY and to stop taking EVERYTHING so damn seriously.” – The Juilliard School`s 109th commencement speech, Joyce Didonato. 2014. 

Also check out the wonderful conversation between Janet Baker and Joyce Didonato at the Royal Opera House : Here

Follow Joyce on Twitter and Facebook

//The Fat Lady

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