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Royal Irish Academy of Music honours Joyce DiDonato with a fellowship Honoris Causa

Ireland’s leading music conservatoire, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, last night [Tues 4 Sep] awarded the distinguished American mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato, with the
Fellowship Honoris Causa, the highest artistic and academic accolade the institution can bestow. Since the RIAM’s foundation in 1848, only 58 individuals have received the honour for their outstanding services to music, including the internationally renowned composers Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Olivier Messiaen, mezzo-soprano Ann Murray DBE, flautist, Sir James Galway, and the Director of London’s Wigmore Hall, John Gilhooly OBE.

Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost singers of our time, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato of Irish extraction, has been dubbed by the New Yorker as “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation”. She has soared to the top of the industry, both as a performer and as a fierce advocate for the arts, gaining international prominence and entrancing audiences worldwide in operas from Mozart and Handel to Rossini, Donizetti and Jake Heggie, as well as through her wide-ranging, acclaimed discography.

Speaking on receiving the award of Fellowship Honoris Causa Ms DiDonato said: “It’s difficult to express how deeply touched I am by this extraordinary gesture from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Of course, while I recognize the historical significance of such an honour, I’m afraid the overwhelming response is the wish that my parents could have been present to share this event with me. They passed on a fierce pride in our Irish heritage to all seven of us Flaherty children, and I can only imagine how their Irish eyes are smiling and beaming today. My gratitude is profound.

Recognising Ms Di Donato’s extraordinary career and contribution to the arts at the Fellowship Ceremony which was held at the Reform Club in London last night, RIAM Director, Deborah Kelleher stated: “One of the ways in which we at the RIAM are refreshed, inspired and challenged is to look outside ourselves and at any moment in time, find out what is the best in the world in music performance. Who is setting the agenda, who is the thought leader, the innovator, the artist that makes us question ourselves and lifts our spirits?  Joyce DiDonato with her technical and musical mastery; her passion for music as an art form; her ability to tap into the zeitgeist of the time and her awareness of how important the arts are to the human soul, is one of those agenda setters. By honouring her with the Fellowship Honoris Causa, we form a link to an artist who will be remembered forever. RIAM’s history is Ms DiDonato’s history – we opened our doors as her ancestors were leaving Ireland in the 19th century and we welcome her back today, so that the national conservatoire in the country of her ancestors might be inspired by who she is and what she has achieved, to reach ever higher, ever better.

3 Comments

  1. Eleanor said…

    Congratulations on your well-deserved RIAM Fellowship award. I was very sorry not to have been at the Albert Hall last night but I can enjoy your sensational tragic queens and that sublime encore on the wonderful BBC player.

    Come back to Dublin soon.
    Eleanor

  2. Noel Patrick said…

    Everything ‘the goddess of opera’ receives is completely deserved.
    She has brought great joy and pleasure into the lives of her many fans.
    Bravo/Brava to Joyce DiDonato and RIAM

  3. Ulla Tarras-Wahlberg said…

    How utterly well deserved. My warm congratulation for this Irish Destinction and my sincere gratitude for – I believe – a decade of fabulous performances! I have just listened to The Death of Cleopatra – MAGNIFIQUE!!
    Bless you – and cheers, Ulla Tarras-Wahlberg (European groupie!!)

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12 hours ago

Toi Toi Toi you gorgeous artists and heavenly theater folks!!!! https://t.co/6kfhATZiPg

23 hours ago

I’m going to need video. (And tell your students to sing out! 🤩) https://t.co/6vUYDquuNE

18 Sep

It only counts if I see the photos! :-) https://t.co/YQi4vlOC5r

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Well, if it’s not a “Two Widows” Reunion!!!!! @operabrandon, what a joy to share the stage with you again after tw%#*y years! And here I am again, a W2BW! (Widow To Be Wooed) Bonus points for anyone who actually attended our *historic* performances in Smetna’s underperformed opera way back in 1998 in #Chautauqua!!! #Chautauqua2Carthage #Smetna2Berlioz #HappilyEverAfter2TotalDestruction

I could not be happier or more excited that our wonderful album of Les Troyens has been named “Recording of the Year” at tonight’s Gramophone Award ceremony. Thank you to the visionary and magical music-making of John Nelson, my fabulous cast members and to @warner_classics for in believing in this project. It has been a pleasure and an extreme privilege to be a part of it. THANK YOU!!! Viva Les Troyens and viva #Berlioz.

Tune in to Great Performances | PBS to watch @metopera #Cendrillon broadcast at 12PM ET today! ✨👠👸 Photo: Paola Kudacki / Met Opera #greatperformancespbs

What a perfect, beautiful, timely moment to embrace a fairy tale: don’t miss the Metropolitan Opera's heralded production of “Cendrillon” on @PBS Great Performances! Bask in the beautiful French melodies of Massenet. Laugh at the charming staging. Marvel at the gorgeous costumes. Revel in the soaring vocal lines of our brilliant cast. I’ve spent over 20 treasured years with Cinderella, and I’d love to share this final trip to the palace with you! @metopera @alice.coote @sblythe327 @sop_kathleen_kim #laurentnaouri @metoperachorus @metorchestra #bertranddebilly #laurentpelly

Happy Friday, everyone! I wanted to start the weekend with something special that I hope you’ll enjoy! In celebration of the release of my new album “Into the fire” featuring Jake Heggie’s profound song cycle about Camille Claudel, I created this playlist featuring some of my favorite tracks of Jake’s music. 🎧 Link in bio. He is not only a dear friend, he also captures human emotions so beautifully in this writing and I am always stunned by his sheer abundance of music ideas, languages and styles. I have been fortunate enough to sing a lot of his music throughout my career and I have so many beautiful memories of each and every one of his works I performed. I will never forget the profound impact on everyone in the cast and in the audience for each performance of “Dead Man Walking” and the wonderful humanity and insight into the life of a performer in “Great Scott”. Jake’s songs are part of almost every recital I give and I hope to be able to share how special his music is, via this playlist I created for all of you! @warner_classics @applemusic

I’m in LOVE with performing #Berlioz with @monteverdi_choir_orchestras (#ORR). Add into the mix performing at the @bbc_proms and I’m positively done. My personal recommendation is that you tune in tonight for a rousing listen on @bbcradio3!!! #colormelucky #tragicdeathxtwo #berliozrocksmyworld

Thank you #Hamburg and the stunning @elbphilharmonie for such a warm welcome last night. Congratulations on the start of another stunning season. An even warmer debt of gratitude for the stunning Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique and Sir John Eliot Gardiner for divine, powerful music making. Cléopâtre has never suffered such a brutal death!! Look out, #London: you’re next!! @bbc_proms

Hello from Hamburg! I am thrilled to start the 2018/19 season with two concerts conducted by the legendary Sir John Eliot Gardiner​ and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, tonight at @elbphilharmonie Hamburg and on September 5 at the @bbc_proms in London. I will sing Didon’s death scene from Les Troyens and La mort de Cléopâtre. The next two months are all about #Berlioz for me and I could not be more excited to sing this gorgeous music. 📻 Our concert at the @royalalberthall on September 5 will also receive a live broadcast on @bbcradio3. I hope you all had a spectacular summer. I am very excited to start this new season and I look forward to seeing you at one of my performances! Photo: @chrissingerme

#shattered #glass #beautyinthebroken #geometry #viennaairport #timetofly #aspsawait @bbc_proms #hereicome #queencleo #speakingofshattered ...... 😎💋😎

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

~ Joyce DiDonato