Joyce DiDonato, American Mezzo-Soprano

Day 86: Joyce DiDonato

Katharine Lee Bates & Samuel A. Ward, Performed by Joyce DiDonato

Being in Nature and Being of Service are two of the most effective ways I know of to encounter a true sense of Peace. “American the Beautiful”, in particular with a seldom heard verse, captures the majesty and humility of both of these elements. I dedicate this rendition to everyone who has served their community selflessly for the hope of building peace and unity. And in particular, I dedicate it to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one who served tirelessly and with great mercy throughout her life.


In all her endeavors, both on and off the stage, Joyce DiDonato engages audiences through her energy, imagination, and commitment to her art form. Through these qualities, and with a constantly questing spirit, she has nurtured the vocal, musical and dramatic talents that have taken her to the pinnacle of her profession as a performer. Equally, they serve her as an eloquent and formidable advocate for the transformative power of the arts as she takes music far beyond the world’s great stages – to educational institutions, refugee camps, and maximum-security prisons. “Music heals,” she has said, “and it can fire people up with purpose and courage to change the world.”

The winner of multiple Grammys and the 2018 Olivier Award, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato is, in the words of the New Yorker, “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation”, her voice having been described by The Times as “nothing less than 24-carat gold”. For all its beauty and agility, its true impact lies in Joyce’s capacity to illuminate character and meaning through nuances of colour and phrasing and her unfailingly communicative way with the text.

Joyce DiDonato’s repertoire spans five centuries and through her operatic career she has grown from the mischievous or melancholy ingénue (Rosina, Cendrillon, and Cenerentola) to tragic Queen (Maria Stuarda, Semiramide, and Didon), and from hormonal teenage boy (Cherubino and Sesto) to gallant medieval prince (Ariodante and Romeo). Her recent appearances include her stage debut as Didon in Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens in Vienna, a highly praised tour, recording, and stage debut as the title role in Handel’s Agrippina: and concert performances of more Berlioz (Les Nuits d’été) with Sir Antonio Pappano and the National Youth Orchestra of the United States at the BBC Proms. Critically acclaimed recitals of Schubert’s monumental Winterreise with Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the piano mark a true artistic arrival point. Over the past five years she has heightened audiences’ engagement with Baroque music through themed programmes of arias – ‘Drama Queens’, ‘Stella di Napoli’ and, especially, a 5-continent tour of ‘In War and Peace’, which she produced “to steer conversation and discourse towards peace through the power of harmony found in music and the concert hall”. This project has reached over 2.3 million viewers globally.


SING. Find your favorite patriotic hymn, your favorite spiritual, your favorite lullaby, your favorite cover hit – anything that speaks to your heart and makes you FEEL something. And sing it. Bonus points for singing it TO someone, or better yet – get them to sing with you. Even if it’s in the privacy of your own shower: SING.

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