Four young singers were fortunate to spend the past weekend working with renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in a series of three master classes focusing on opera arias. These public events were held in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing and were streamed live on medici.tv. Throughout the weekend, the young artists and audience members alike learned more than vocal technique and performance concepts. Ms. DiDonato imparted invaluable life lessons alongside technical musical skills.
Watch free replays of Joyce DiDonato’s 2016 master classes in the Resnick Education Wing for an entire year on medici.tv.
Throughout the weekend, the students’ work transformed as they learned how to improve their vocal technique and performance. In addition to a daily master class with Ms. DiDonato, the singers had the opportunity to participate in workshops on breathing and movement and a panel discussion on career resources. The combination of these classes, workshops, and panels gave the students a learning experience that informed their performance as vocalists and their lives as musicians. After the class, mezzo-soprano Miya Higashiyama tweeted, “I feel I have made life changing discoveries about using the breath and body to inform sound and not getting stuck in my own head!”
Perhaps even more poignantly, however, Ms. DiDonato’s approach to working with the students offered insight into the complexities of life. In the Q & A portion of Saturday’s class, she answered a question from a Twitter follower who asked whether it was possible to perform both musical theater and opera. Ms. DiDonato responded with, “Be that person who makes it happen.” She also answered many other questions from young artists who wondered whether they could do something that doesn’t fit into the standard mold and still make it as a performer. Almost every time, she gave the same answer: If you want to do it, don’t do it halfway. Go for it and give it all you have.
As countertenor Daniel Moody wrote following Sunday’s Twitter chat: “I learned SO much about what I need to be doing in order to reach my goals as a singer! I’m re-energized and inspired!” Ms. DiDonato’s coaching not only re-energized and inspired Daniel and his fellow students, but also everyone who watched the class to be better musicians, audience members, and individuals.
View a sampling of the Twitter chat below and read all of Joyce’s responses here.