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Opposing views

I read this horrific, incomprehensible article from the Guardian newspaper this afternoon, and it made me immeasurably, profoundly sad. Truly, my soul wanted to curl itself up in a corner and find a blanket to lay over itself, simply to disappear and escape the pure insanity and foolishness of it.

How can we, those of us who are lucky enough to have the freedom to choose to listen to Ella, or Elvis, or Maria, begin to comprehend a life without music? A life without the opportunity to express yourself, whether listening, dancing, playing or singing, via MUSIC? I can’t profess to know that much about the history of Islamic music, but I do know that it is rich and varied and deep. With all due respect to this culture that I do not comprehend well at all, (which should, perhaps, preclude me from passing any kind of judgment, but alas, I cannot help myself on this point) I mourn for the people who have had this life-affirming necessity taken from them, and can only hope that they are resilient enough to find the ways to feed their souls in a meaningful, truthful way.

In a desperate search for the counter-balance to the poison above, I propose a concise, perfectly illustrated demonstration of how invaluable music education is. It’s only an audio sampling, but what an effecive one it is: a band teacher uses his band members to demonstrate the amount of skill and it takes to make music.

Please feel FREE to pass this around and remind people how valuable the study of music is, not to mention a life overflowing with the beauty of music!

Another sublime musical experience today, as I rehearsed Norma with the really superb Camerata Salzburg accompanying us. Watching Ms. Gruberova inhabit the character of Norma so completely inspires me to great heights, and makes me overflow with gratitude that I am surrounded by glorious music, sublime artists and beautiful human beings. It only makes reading the first article all the more painful, thinking that not everyone has this luxury at their fingertips.

6 hours ago

CONGRATULATIONS, Sister Doctor Helen .... or Doctor Sister Helen. Regardless, thank you for your tireless leadershi… https://t.co/bzjY25lAGl

6 hours ago

NO WORDS to express how deeply and profoundly I agree with this . . . thanks for the beautiful reminder of what rea… https://t.co/lVehxL65fN

24 hours ago

#People can do #EXTRAORDINARY things. https://t.co/7ZxdpSk0TC

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“Alex, I’ll take welcoming hotel hallways for $1,000, please.” #AgrippinasKarma #Poppeawarnedme #whereitalyandaustriamergeforbetterorforworse #redrum #heresjoycee #seriously #RIGHTOUTSIDEMYDOOR #touringlife

TONIGHT we bring our #Agrippina to the @liceu_opera_barcelona for 3.75 hours of scheming da capos!! No puc esperar!!!! #elpoderabsolutcorrompeabsolutament #totiaixíaquestsrecitatius #diversíoperversa Photo: Javier Del Real @ilpdo

Close up of the print on my Agrippina Dress! I found the silk in #Shanghai and knew it was for this aspiring, conquering Handelian Roman!!! #dragonsandbuildingsandsilkohmy #abdolutepowercorruptsABSOLUTELY #norestforthewicked #rulersareyoutakingnote??

Last night I had the great, wicked joy of debuting the role of Agrippina with my beloved Il "Pomo d'Oro" orchestra and a wonderful cast. It’s going to be great fun getting to know her more and more ... not a moral fiber to be found in her!!!! Reminds me of a few people presently in power, no?? #absolutepowercorruptsABSOLUTELY #motheroftheyear #wheresmythrone #whatdoesagirlhavetodotogetacrown #thoserecitsthough 📸: @catecool

When I first flirted with the idea of taking on #Agrippina, it was asked of me, “But you do know she’s quite wicked, right?” Oh yes. I know. A new tour begins NOW with an extraordinary cast and my beloved partners Il Pomo d’oro with Maxim Emelyanychev at the helm. Between our limited 5-city tour, we are RECORDING!! • Handel: AGRIPPINA Luxembourg City • Madrid • Barcelona • Paris • London Il "Pomo d'Oro" orchestra @ilpdo @maxim_emelyanychev, harpsichord/director • Joyce DiDonato - Agrippina @LucaPisaroni - Claudio @elsabenoitsoprano - Poppea @xaviersabata - Ottone / Giunone Franco Fagioli- Nerone @andrewmastroni - Pallante @carlo.vistoli - Narciso Biagio Pizzuti - Lesbo • #BacktoHandel #Wicked #absolutepowercorruptsabsolutely #ihavealwaysbraggedabouthowmuchiloverecitative #timetoputmymoneywheremymouthis #HIGHDRAMA #handel @philharmonie_lux @teatro_real @liceu_opera_barcelona @theatre_champs_elysees @barbicancentre @askonasholt STYLING: @vitatzykun PHOTO: @chrissingerme

“I left my heart ... in Windy Chi-Town...” Aside from the glorious music making with the astonishing, treasured @chicagosymphony, it was this day at the Warrenville Juvenile Detention Center that stole my heart. I applaud the CSO and Maestro Muti for their commitment to bring their music to these beautiful kids, and I was deeply honored to sing for them. Seeing tears come to their eyes as they experienced Mozart first hand was simply life-affirming. As the beautiful girl in the yellow shirt told me afterwards as tears spilled from her eyes, “I don’t know what happened to me, but it feels like all of the anguish I’ve ever felt in my life came pouring out of that music.” Let’s not EVER underestimate the need for human connection in these kids’ lives. In a broken system and an often broken world, music and the arts are a bonafide, VITAL part of healing. How can you help? Photos: @toddrphoto

Can you #HANDEL the #glamour? You know you can’t!!! 🤓 Hotel room studying, people. It’s real, it’s thrilling, and it’s my most favorite thing everrrrrrrrrrrrr. [srcsm] #sheisNOTplayingaround #anythingforthethrone #andstillshepersisted #couldthereBEmorerecitative? #no #notherecouldnot #justtakethethronealready #GOTagrippinastyle #absolutepowerblahblah #historySUREDOESrepeat #andstill ... #thisroleisEPIC

Getting my Cléopâtre on! What a JOY to be back on stage with the singular @chicagosymphony making extraordinary music together. I’m so glad to be here.

I am thrilled to remain in the gorgeous world of Berlioz a while longer and look forward to singing his poignant cantata La Mort de Cléopâtre with the brilliant Chicago Symphony Orchestra​ and Maestro Riccardo Muti​ this week! May 2, 4 & 7: Orchestra Hall May 3: Wheaton College​ @chicagosymphony @riccardomutimusic Photo: Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune

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There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato