Joyce DiDonato: how I found harmony in music of war and peaceThe Guardian
It’s 16 November, 2015: I am seated at my father’s old piano in tranquil, uneventful Kansas City, Missouri, with a pile of 60 obscure Neapolitan arias. I’m researching music for my new album, music by composers such as Niccolò Jomelli and Leonardo Leo, who wrote in a post-classical, pre-bel canto world that is sorely underrepresented today on recordings and concert platforms.
My task is to select 10 of these obscure arias to feature on my album and perform on a world tour. Just the day before I had been in glossy Dallas, Texas singing the final emotion-filled performance of a new opera written for me by Jake Heggie titled Great Scott, which asks the pressing question, “Does art matter?” – a question I often contemplate.
My phone was propped up on the music rack of the piano – never a good idea for concentrated focus – but I was breaking my self-imposed rule because I was waiting for texts and postings from friends and colleagues in Paris who were dealing with the harrowing aftermath of the Paris attacks, which had rocked that city three days earlier.
My head swirled. My heart wept. My artistic soul searched.
Reading the entire feature via The Guardian