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A letter to the up & coming opera lovers!

There’s a wonderful opera fan out there who corralled several other ardent fans into starting their very own on-line magazine about opera, called Opera21.  It’s a brilliant venture, where they find a theme each month, solicit articles by their own readers, and put it out into the cybersphere for discussion, growth and discovery.  Absolutely my cup of tea!  The following is a letter I wrote to their editor for the February 2013 edition, and just wanted to share it with you here, as well.

Dear Opera21,

Congratulations on the launch of this exciting on-line magazine where each of you can delve deeper and deeper into your passions for opera and music!  It’s wonderful for me to have the confirmation of my passion about opera through your eyes, because each of you are ignited by the same emotional journeys, breathtaking musical moments and awe-inspiring productions that I am, and you are eagerly seeking a way to learn more.  Trust me, as long as you’re game, the journey of discovery never ends! Enjoy it!

I predict your operatic journey may sometimes be a love/hate relationship – for where there are big passions, there can be enormous disappointments.  Whether you are an aspiring singer who faces a deluge of rejections (oh, they’ll be there – just keep breathing!), or a fan who suffers through a cast that isn’t to your liking (or, God forbid, isn’t the same singer you first saw when you fell in love with a particular opera back in 2009…!), the disappointments will most definitely be there.

But so will the euphoric moments, and those blessed moments of tears and laughter or overwhelming profundity – or you’ll receive that first contract, or be accepted into the ensemble and begin relationships with friends who will be with you for life.  The highs and the lows will both feed you in completely different ways and ultimately bring more depth and joy into your life.

But may I offer one word of caution, or request one small favor?  Please don’t become a snob.  Please just resist that urge should it rear its ugly head. It’s not cool, definitely not attractive, and terribly, terribly boring. No matter how much you know, or how much you see and hear, and no matter how strong your opinions are, please don’t flirt with that imperial “level of knowing” where you stop listening, stop feeling, and stop learning.  By all means, be critical if you like, but please consider offering your opinions with grace and elegance. In other words, “Stay classy.”  Trust me, it will enhance your operatic experience by miles.

Throughout those inevitable highs and lows, please fight to keep the faith, and please do your part to keep the dialogue open and moving forward, so that you (yes, YOU) can be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.  I want YOU to help figure out where opera goes in YOUR Century.  Get creative, spread the word, think outside the box, be open enough so that the newcomers who will come and look to you for guidance will feel welcome, and please keep listening with those curious, eager ears so that the next generations of singers won’t feel that they have to compete with a “DiDonato” or a “Florez”.  (Not that there is anything wrong with either of those two!)

Finally, at last its my turn to stand up and applaud each of YOU, and yell BRAVI for your efforts and for your enthusiasm!  You are my argument against “Opera is a dying art form”, so get loud, get strong, and yes, stay classy!

CHEERS!

Joyce

20 Apr

😎 https://t.co/VlOVtLDZLS

20 Apr

Dashing my way to the airport ... so in a flash, the pardon rules and I can forever soak in the wonderful joy of th… https://t.co/nm39nhSAtX

20 Apr

It TRULY is my honor and pleasure! https://t.co/4ct3eHift6

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A most heartfelt thank you to these wonderful, brave artists. What a rich journey you all took us on during these 3 days. I couldn’t be prouder of each if you, and I thank you for giving so much of yourselves. I hope you felt how rich the reward was as you dared to walk through the fear!!! Bravi @key.sings, @alexandra_sings, @mayaamir91, and @aaroncmusic. Once again, @carnegiehall and @medici.tv are superstars for making these classes available across the globe. I hope you got a lot out of them! Many thanks for tuning in and see you next year!! #bravesingers #artislife #lifeisart #whereyouwalk #trustthepianissimo #openyourheart #nyanyanya #artheals #thatwasintense #keepyourpilotlightlit

I am thrilled to return to @CarnegieHall for three master classes this week! Tune in at 4 PM (EDT) today, tomorrow and on Sunday to watch the live stream on @medici.tv. 👉 link in bio. #masterclass #livestream

👉 Head over to @metopera! I am taking over the Met’s instagram account for our fourth performance of La Clemenza di Tito tonight. Stay tuned! #joyceforthemet #instagramtakeover Photo: Richard Termine / Met Opera

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Once upon a time there was a magical presence in the world who made us all believe in fairy tales again!! It was a tremendous honor to present Laurent Pelly with his well deserved @opera.news Award last night at the @theplazahotel in NYC. OF course so much of the Opera Family Royalty was on hand, including the [email protected]_domingo and fellow honoree, the radiant @ailynperezsoprano. Friends joining from KC made it even more special! Congratulations to all the honorees!!! #celebratingopera Photos from the fab @darioshoots and Lisa Pacino. @kevindeenart @palluccab

What a joy to join my @carnegiehall family, under the visionary leadership of the Chairman, Robert Smith, and the Executive Director, Clive Gillinson. I’m certain this legendary institution will lead many other arts organizations into a vibrant, transformative, inspired future where Art is for all. Of course, to commemorate such a shining occasion, how could we not celebrate the beauty of @cartier?? A million thanks for the exquisite jewels. And finally, there simply aren’t enough words to sing the praises of pianist @bryanwagorn highly enough. I suppose that’s why we felt the need for a mock prom pic. #howdoigettocarnegiehall #nolie #practicepracticepractice #andonceyougetthere #shineshineahine #thefutureisSObright #ifweallriseup. Thank you @julieskarratt for the lovely souvenir photos!

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

~ Joyce DiDonato