January 4, 2013


A select few performers have learned (or knew instinctively) how to use social media to enhance communication with the public. None more so than the phenomenal mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. An hour ago a woman tweeted:

Bess Moser @moserbess
Tonight I will be seeing my first performance @MetOpera. Tonight I will be seeing @JoyceDiDonato onstage for the first time. #bestillmyheart

Because of the hashtag, the singer saw it and tweeted back

Joyce DiDonato
Tonight I will be singing live for @moserbess for the first time! 😉

This is brilliant — and legitimate. After all, Bess Moser is presumably paying a substantial amount of money to hear an artist who is being paid a really substantial amount thanks to the public. And the obligation of performer to audience is even greater in non-tangible terms. But few so clearly recognize it as does Joyce DiDonato.

This is More Like It

October 13, 2011

Not long ago an American orchestra on strike objected to the fact that they were being asked to spend, as part of their contractual obligation, time and effort on explicit communication with the community. On the other hand, we have a few artists who take that sort of relationship with the public as a pleasure rather than a chore. You’ll love this story: a class of fifth-grade children in Tulsa, Oklahoma were shown a video of Il barbiere di Seviglia in a Met production starring Joyce DiDonato. Their teacher, Charles Johnston decided to take advantage of having once met DiDonato, so he sent her an e-mail that caused her to suggest that the pupils send her some questions.

Rather than just sending an e-mail with her answers, this world-famous diva took time out from the strenuous Rosenkavalier rehearsals she was doing in Milan to send the kids this video:

Thanks to Robert Francks for pointing out this video.

Yankee Doodle Diva

July 6, 2009

joyce We have appreciated Joyce DiDonato here before, and the American mezzo-soprano daily extends the artistic celebrity that she deservedly enjoys round the world. But, on her country’s Independence Day, she demonstrated for British audiences physical bravery and performance-heroism that recall Greg Louganis’s return from injury to triumph in the 1988 Olympics.

Joyce DiDonato has provided her own account of the evening here, with followups here.

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Live Journal
Prima la Musica
The Independent
Parterre Box