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Striking

Cracking up

She is, isn’t she? And I find the more time I spend with her, the more striking I find her features. The shading, the subtlety, the refinement – the simplicity of her composition and demeanor. I discovered she’s actually wearing a veil – something I never noticed about her before, until I used a telephoto lens to study her. It’s there – it’s amazing.

Unknown hands

She really does take your breath away.

Speaking of striking, I should be warming up right about now for my “prima” here in Milan. As you most likely know, a “sciopera” has gripped the Teatro alla Scala for the evening and our performance has been canceled. (Note: You can have a refund of your tickets until July 17!!!) I think I understand to a large extent how disappointing it must be for the people who held tickets for tonight’s show. My heart truly goes out to you. It’s also extremely disappointing to myself – an artist – who gives up a lot of her life to perform for you – the public – to have a performance taken away. I don’t profess to understand either side of the argument. It seems to me, as is almost always the case, both sides have valid points, and both sides could make some concessions – I just personally hate to see the public dragged into the fight, where art seems to be the main casualty. I suppose those involved feel it is their most powerful weapon, so I understand their desire to use it, but history seems to show that it seldom brings results, which makes me question the productivity of it all. But I’m not Italian, this isn’t my country, nor my theater – I have no say in the matter, which feels quite strange – but I respect that this is the way things work. I only hope that both sides can find a way to work productively together, for art deserves so much more, and God only knows how desperately we need art in our lives these days!

Regardless, please know that I will do my best to give the fullest performance I can, should we ever be given the chance to perform! (On a side note, there have been a few changes here at the theater, one including a few additional performances for me: I’ll now be singing on the 10th and 13th, as well as my regular scheduled shows…)


I have to say that it’s funny working on this Ponnelle production! The production is older than I am, and all the greatest Rossini singers of the past 4 decades have participated in the epic staging, so I feel a real sense of entering an historic masterpiece, rich in legacy and tradition.

It’s challenging, however, because opera has changed quite a lot in the past 40 years, and having participated in the creation of a number of new productions, often with a very modern twist to them, it is fascinating to return to a time where things were much simpler. It is quite hard for me to sing the Lesson Scene in a cut version (as I’m a fierce proponent for what a brilliant dramatic scene it creates in its entirety), and the idea of not singing the recitative with Bartolo where she swears revenge on “Lindoro” and asks Bartolo to marry her is near sacrilege to me! But this is the original Ponnelle version (except they’ve included the now mandatory tenor aria), and there is something beautiful about stepping into the simple clockwork and choreography he created so many years ago. This Rosina is a classic, and I’m glad I will have the chance (strikes permitting!) to add this kind of approach to my repertoire of “Vipera’s”!!!

One benefit to the strike is that I had a free day today, which is the first grouping of 2 days in a row that have been free for me in MONTHS! I am not complaining about that in the least, and have relished sleeping in late, getting back to some yoga, catching up on the backload of emails, and simply catching my breath! Ah, I do believe I needed it!

Hope to be in great form tomorrow night – it’s not every night one gets to debut an iconic role at an iconic theater. I better stop talking about it and thinking about it – that’ll make me nervous!

Hope you all are finding a way to stay cool wherever you are!

CHEERS!!

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So looking forward to #Winterreise tonight for @princetonuniversityconcerts with beloved @nezetseguin ... each return to this piece brings such unexpected discoveries. Photo: @andredesrosiersphotos

Looking forward to these powerful concerts with Yannick @nezetseguin! Schubert: Winterreise • Dec 08 | @clubmusicaldequebec Dec 11 | @princeton University Dec 15 | @carnegiehall * 📅 joycedidonato.com/category/events/🖥 *Live on @medici.tv - Dec. 15. www.medici.tv/en/calendar/ • • “The DiDonato/Nézet-Séguin pairing is inspired, one of those special nights where you rarely get to see two musical superstars pull off a work of this magnitude.” • ~ Independent Kansas City

And with the snap of the fingers, this blissful, nourishing tour with the extraordinary @orchestre_metropolitain comes to a conclusion. After touring some of the top halls in North America, what a joy to finish in the home of the @philorch, another base for the boundless energy and gifts of @nezetseguin. It also wraps up 3 astonishing months for me, going from Agrippina in London, across Sputh America and landing in DC for #InWarAndPeace, launching the new recording of #Damnation, visiting the @npr #tinydesk, (look for it in Jan!), and even traveling to ancient Egypt yesterday! Is there a more perfect conclusion to this memorable period than #Mozart? I think not! Photo: @fgoupil #partopartotomorrow #thatclari netthough #fullcircle #lastsangthisariainphillytwentyfouryearsagoatavaforthedeathbyariasingoff #spellcheckTHAT

#StandingOvation to the entire #Akhnaten Family for this beautiful performance today. Utterly unforgettable!!!! #Repost @metopera with @get_repost ・・・ Mezzo-soprano @joycedidonato hosted today’s Live in HD transmission of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten—seen in more than 70 countries worldwide. 🌎 Don’t miss her performance in the upcoming production of Agrippina, live in cinemas on February 29! #MetHD #MetOpera #Opera #Akhnaten #PhilipGlass #LiveinHD #Movies

Live from the Met in one hour! The Met's epic production of Philip Glass' Akhnaten is shown live on screen in cinemas worldwide and I am thrilled to host the broadcast. In bocca al lupo to this stellar cast! I can't wait to see the show and speak to you about this gorgeous work. @metopera #metopera #liveinhd #Movies #PhilipGlass #Akhnaten @philipglassmusic @arcostanzo #MetHD

An overwhelming evening last night @carnegiehall, with my fellow Perspective”s Artist, @nezetseguin, as he brought his first orchestra, @orchestre_metropolitain, to this beautiful hall for the first time. The pure joy and abundant love that poured forth from the legendary stage in the remarkable Bruckner 4 elevated us all. What a gift it is to be a part of his world. 🎉💃🎉 Photo: @fgoupil

It was an overwhelming musical experience to return to Strasbourg and my "Berlioz Family" to bring "La Damnation de Faust" to life! Released today, I can't think of a more perfect way to round out this Berlioz Year. I hope you will listen and be swept away, as we all were by the experience! @philharmonique_de_strasbourg @spikelmyers @nicolascourjal @alexandreduhamelbaritone @warner_classics @warnerclassicsus • 💿 Link in bio to pre-order the album. • • #berlioz #berlioz150 #yearofberlioz #faust #opera #newmusicfriday

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~ Joyce DiDonato