Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project

Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project


Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Rosanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman, Rhiannon Giddens, Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant, Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Available April 20, 2018


The Lullaby Project pairs pregnant women and new mothers with professional artists to write and sing personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development, and strengthening the bond between parent and child. In New York City, the project reaches mothers in hospitals, homeless shelters, schools, and at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. Extending across the country and through several international pilot programs, the Lullaby Project enables partner organizations to support families in their own communities.

On April 20, 2018, Decca Gold (Universal Music Group) releases an album of original lullabies written by Lullaby Project participants and performed by leading artists, including Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Rosanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman, Rhiannon Giddens, Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant, Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The recording was produced by Glen Roven, Ira Yuspeh, and Mitch Yuspeh.

Joyce DiDonato lends her renowned vocal talents to the project’s title track, “Hopes and Dreams,” recorded with the Brentano String Quartet. Joyce has been involved with the Lullaby Project for over five years and met Elsa Negron, the mother who wrote “Hopes and Dreams,” when she performed the song at a special concert hosted by Carnegie Hall. Elsa commented, “I was astonished that anyone – especially a famous musician and an opera singer at that – wanted to sing my song. The message I wanted to send to my daughter and future children is that you can do anything you set your mind to do.” Joyce, who along with producer Glen Roven was a driving force in initiating the idea of a Lullaby Project album, said about Elsa and the mothers involved in the program, “This project, for me, the common denominator is music and love… I don’t think there is any more important relationship than that between mother and child… and it is quite incredible to meet a young woman who has written this for her child, and then she gives me the honor of being able to give voice and breath to it.” Joyce sings in another two tracks, “Peace” – by Tamilles Fernandes with Deidre Struck and “Dream Big” – by Shaylor Johnson with Thomas Cabaniss, in which she’s joined by Lawrence Brownlee with Rhiannon Giddens, Patti LuPone, Angélique Kidjo, Gilberto Santo Rosa, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the Dream Big


  1. Gwendolyn Soper said…

    So glad to learn of The Lullaby Project at the end of your fabulous master class today. I just ordered many copies. You are a rare human being–both humble and empowered–generous with so much of yourself and your hard-won lessons that I can see from what you generously shared how it IS possible to leap, to fly, to dare, and experience that rare air as well. I am very, very encouraged. I stopped singing over a dozen years ago after becoming chronically ill at an opera rehearsal (it’s a genetic thing I didn’t know I had). I sang Queen of the Night; talk about being unprepared to handle the big roles. Therapy last year helped me become brave enough to think of singing again, and Claudia Friedlander, my voice teacher (we FaceTime lessons–I’m in Utah), is helping me to fall in love with singing again. I adore her as a teacher. It’s humbling to be middle-aged and feel like I’m in two different schools at the same time (kindergarten and high school): I’m having fun playing with music AND I’m afraid a lot of the time.

    I’m so glad Claudia told me about your master classes. God bless you. And, like you, I hope the four talented singers you worked with so beautifully are well taken care of in the industry, care for themselves, and flourish for years in thriving musical careers. I look forward to following their careers. I was in tears several times during moments of exquisite beauty that you all created as you collaborated with them.

    Gwen Soper

  2. Ivelisse Reyes said…

    Good day!

    Success and many blessings in this new and special proposal of you. I would be interested in collaborating with your organization in Puerto Rico. Previously, I had the privilege of working with the populations that you serve.
    Currently, I work for a community in my town, and I would also like to bring your organization to an activity. Serving is my commitment and helping so that people like you can help our people. It is beautiful and many blessings what I read about your organization and the campaign you are now carrying out with Mr. Gilberto Santa Rosa.

    I hope I can contribute with you.


    Ivelisse Reyes

    • Yankeediva said…

      Ivelisse! Thank you for your lovely note. Please reach out to the Weill Music Institute team (they have a page on the Carnegie Hall website) and they would be happy to connect with you, I’m sure!

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We will remember it, as well!!

11 hours ago

Thank you, Nicola!

11 hours ago

Thank you so much, Steffi. We are so happy it was such a profound experience for you.

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

~ Joyce DiDonato