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The night after … and, well … the night before!

I have about 8 blog postings lurking around in the frazzled corners of my muddled and over-excited brain at the moment, for which I hope to have time at some point in the not-too-distant-future to commit to cyberspace, for I most certainly don’t want to forget moments such as Sr. Helen’s spine-tingling phrase spoken before hundreds of patrons “Houston, I have been to your death chambers”, or Patrick Summers reminding us of the true definition of a star (“always present and burning bright whether we see it or not”) to describe Frederica von Stade at her farewell tribute after her final center-stage bow, or the devastating sensation of sharing her final cutoff with her on the stage and stammering to find my voice just afterwards to continue on with the show.

Yes, there are buckets of tales to share, but there is also a rather immense project waiting for me tomorrow night at the start of my recital tour here in Fort Worth, TX! Yee haw, indeed! So, not wanting to miss out on too many things, I hand it over to the best possible source, her most fabulous self, in order to help articulate in person some of the very numerous reasons that this lady is my hero. Indeed, she is a hero to the world, for she has single-handedly made this particular planet a much better place by her simple luminescent presence, and honestly, in the end, what more could we ever ask for? Please watch this and marvel at the generosity of spirit, the depth of wisdom and humility, and the simple love of life that permeates her every word. I know, I gush – I’m shameless, and I don’t care!

In the meantime, we’ve landed in Fort Worth and as you can see, the gorgeous Bass Hall (golden and center below) awaits us with its famed acoustics, and the rest of Texas, is, well – wide open and waiting! ( My accompanist is very excited to be in the area, having grown up in France watching DALLAS every Saturday Night. I love hearing him pronounce “JR” with a French accent!)

18 hours ago

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

19 May

Molt ben!! https://t.co/DPgapaYJYt

19 May

So happy you enjoyed it, Marc! https://t.co/WFhpvpkKcR

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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