Blog

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

17 Jun

Saving the world one teacher at a time https://t.co/61VhoCkR4u

17 Jun

#BLISS = working all day in the garden losing all sense of time. #TREPIDATION = knowing you will painfully discover… https://t.co/aBRAP5PEZ9

17 Jun

#TreesGloriousTrees Beautiful to see effective solutions!!!!!! https://t.co/nUqmTyT6qb

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato

#SummerLovin #GekkoGusto #TwilightLovin

#SummerLovin #LovinLavender #LavenderLovin

I arrive (nearly) to the end of this very full season, and it’s good moment to remind each of you reading this that YOU are the reason I travel the world, away from home for months at a time, working towards an unattainable perfection, exposed in ways very few people can imagine, singing the stories of characters searching for enlightenment/redemption/hope/relief/joy, and why I dedicate a large part of my life to this century’s old art form. I do it to entertain you at a minimum, but mostly to offer you comfort, to help us all join in a communal “event” that connects us across time and space despite our perceived differences, and I do it because I truly believe it makes the world a better place. I know you feel this most of the time as well. It’s likely what keeps bringing you back! I hope that after this season, perhaps you feel a bit more inspired to take what you receive as an audience member and activate that sensation in your own life, to bring hope and joy to the world around you. Don’t ever underestimate your power to do that - one doesn’t need the spotlight to bring transformation. #Songplay #Winterreise #Agrippina #Didon ✨

If this girl can do it, you can too!!!!!!! #belikeanant #heavyload #yourenevergivenanythingyoucanthandle #antsruletheworld #summerlovin

Grazie Mille @accademiadisantacecilia and the @baciopanino boys. What a JOY it was to perform with you all. Until the next time!

Celebrating #WorldOceansDay ... hoping every single one of you has the chance to swim in the vast blue ocean one day. Growing up in Kansas, I didn’t have the chance until I was in my 30’s, but when I finally did, an entire new universe opened right underneath me and I was changed. I’m so grateful for all that the planet’s oceans give to us. I want to be sure I’m doing all I can as a citizen of the world to take care of them and their vast, life-giving properties. Let’s get more informed and more active in protecting them and helping them thrive.

I was not prepared. The inspiration is through the roof to bring to life the towering cantata of #JoanOfArc tonight in the very cathedral de St. Denis, where she prayed for strength centuries and centuries ago. The same stones that received her pleas tonight will hear them again filtered through the mind of Rossini and the vibrations of those of us on stage. This, perhaps, is the thing I love most about the world of music - it connects us directly through time and space, and it shows us demonstrably how we are one. Ask me how much I love my “job”! @festivalsaintdenis @accademiadisantacecilia

#HowToFlower . . . What’s beautiful around you right now?

Grazie Mille, Roma. What a gift to be here for the briefest of moments - how much life we can find in the now!!!! #LightShower #Pantheon #Mystical #Luz #Luz #Luz #NoFilter #LookAround #Stopqndbreathe #batheinthelight #recoup #regenerate #batheingratitude #boydidtheromansknowhowtobuildabuilding #agrippinawashere #perfection #ladolcevita

Follow Joyce on Instagram

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

~ Joyce DiDonato