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Prairie Village’s Joyce DiDonato Brings Power Of Music To Moscow, Sing Sing And Kauffman Center

KCUR

She’s taken her craft from Barcelona to Beijing, but this weekend Joyce DiDonato will grace a stage much closer to home.

Before the Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano brings the music of Leonard Bernstein and Hector Berlioz to life at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, we sat down for a wide-ranging conversation on KCUR’s Up To Date. We talked about the kindlings of her now red-hot career, an upcoming tour to Moscow, and recent student protests that have captured the nation’s attention.

DiDONATO: You know “West Side Story” is a story about teenagers who are fed up, and saying, “this doesn’t work anymore, the system that we’re a part of.” I admire what these students have done and are doing in leading with voices of reason about their safety, and their right to go to school and be educated in a safe place. I applaud them. If I could give them a standing ovation in the spotlight, I would.

KRASKE: You’re going to be singing “West Side Story” and Bernstein this weekend, right?

DiDONATO: Absolutely. This is the centennial year of his work, and his extraordinary contribution to American music and international music.

If I had the dream to work with one person who has passed on, it would be him. I think it would have been astonishing to be conducted by him.

(“‘West Side Story”) is a piece that I grew up singing from teenage years, so to hear it come alive with the symphony this weekend — people will not be able to sit still in their seats.

Read more & listen to the audio feature via KCUR.org

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21 hours ago

This is beautiful. I'm so glad the piece speaks to you this way! (and that it spoke to you as it did "way back when… https://t.co/bo34OpSIc3

18 Apr

As always....#TalkPeace #DoPeace https://t.co/3p2LzMNjrH

18 Apr

Sound, sound advice!!!!!! https://t.co/8ce0hC3gk7

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#TalkPeace #DoPeace @fourteenjay

Darling Prince Charming (aka @alice.coote) WHAT TIME IS THE BALL TONIGHT?? (So many dishes to do...nothing to wear, etc). Can't wait for #Cendrillon #2 CE SOIR!! #operaismagic #mezzopallooza

As if playing Cinderella on stage wasn't joy enough, I got to arrive at the @metopera gala in a gorgeous @alexteih_couture gown, truly fit for a Queen! Thank you so much, Alex!!!!

To the ball.....! @metopera #metpremiere #onceuponatime #operaismagic #mezzopalooza @alice.coote is my #forever prince

Tonight!!! For the first time at the @metopera! #onceuponatime

Cendrillon premieres at @metopera TOMORROW!! We all need a bit of ✨MAGIC ✨in our lives. Don't miss it! On stage through May 11 👠✨@Alice.Coote @sblythe327 #operaismagic #onceuponatime #iftheshoefits #cinderellastory #ilovemyprincecharming #mezzopallooza #mezzomagic

If ever you question your significance as a human being, this man's life is the perfect example to emulate. He gave without request for a return. He marveled ceaselessly at the poetry of life. He taught with diligence and the most open of hearts. He rejoiced endlessly in the success of others. He reveled in the power of art to touch our "immortal soul". He loved with an abundance that was humbling and inspiring. His legacy will live on in anyone who had the sincere privilege of encountering his towering spirit. Thank you, dearest Robert, for all that you were And all that you are. "...und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen..."

It was a #Semiramide Sweep!!!! What a thrill to win an #OlivierAward for this majestic opera!!! Congratulations to all who helped bring it to grand life!!!! #swoon

Ready for the magic....!! Repost from @nytimes @TopRankRepost #TopRankRepost Opera, the star performer @joycedidonato said, is about “bringing truth and beauty and astonishment to people, while reminding everyone who feels ignored or shunned or diminished that, actually, there’s something bigger out there.” Starting next week, she will sing the title role in the @metopera premiere of “Cendrillon,” a romantic, rarely done Cinderella adaptation from 1899. “The beautiful thing about Cinderella is that she’s somebody who believes in goodness,” said Joyce, who was photographed here by @vincenttullo. “She stays true to herself in a very quiet way.” There was a time when calling an #opera star accessible might have counted as a criticism. But with the art form struggling for audiences, major companies now see it as essential to bring people in for a closer look. “The key isn’t changing what we do,” @joycedidonato said. “It’s making sure that we go to where the people are.” In 2005, she started blogging about everything connected to her life as a globe-trotting artist. A decade later, she added a newsletter, Opera Rocks. Her plain-spoken advice in master classes is all over YouTube. Visit the link in our profile to read Joel Rozen’s profile of opera’s Miss Congeniality.

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

~ Joyce DiDonato