Digital Residency: Joyce DiDonato
Through a new web series, Sing For Today, Joyce DiDonato uses song as a lens through which to process and navigate the human experience in relation to current events and global concerns in real-time.
Episode 3: “Danny Boy” & a Memorial Day Reflection
In a special Memorial Day episode of Sing For Today, Joyce performs a heartfelt arrangement of “Danny Boy” and reflects on grief, loss, and love in conversation with Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy, in memory of his late husband, playwright Terrence McNally.
TOM KIRDAHY is an American Tony and Olivier Award-winning theatrical producer, lawyer, and activist whose projects have spanned Broadway, Off-Broadway, the West End, and national and international tours. He most recently produced the Broadway production of the epic two-part play The Inheritance and the musical Hadestown. As an attorney, he spent nearly two decades providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and served for many years on the Executive Committee of the NYC LGBT Center. His husband, Terrence McNally, died of complications from COVID early in the pandemic.
TERRENCE MCNALLY (1938-2020) had a celebrated career as a playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. He won Tony Awards for Best Play for Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, as well as Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. He also received the 2019 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the highest recognition of artistic merit in the United States. A devoted opera fan, he wrote the libretto for Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, as well as several plays with opera themes, including Master Class, Golden Age, and The Lisbon Traviata.
Music Video feat. Joyce DiDonato & Bernardo Rambeaud
Episode 1: “This Land Is Your Land”
Joyce taps into the energy of early voter lines leading up to Election Day, framing Woody Guthrie’s classic folk song in conversation with Hamilton producer and University of Michigan alumnus Jeffrey Seller, as well as student members of the Poll Hero Project.
Music Video feat. Joyce DiDonato and Alex Garrobé
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie
WGP/TRO-© Copyright 1956, 1958, 1970, 1972, and 1995 (copyrights renewed) Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & Ludlow Music, Inc., New York, NY
administered by Ludlow Music, Inc.
Additional words by Joyce DiDonato
Used by Permission
Artists and Organizations in this Episode:
Episode 2: “Silent Night”
“My hope is that in silence, we can find peace. And in that peace, we might be able to ignite some light and hope. Wishing you a deep sense of peace as we go into the New Year.” —JoyceDiDonato
Enjoy this very special arrangement of “Silent Night” performed by Joyce DiDonato and Àlex Garrobé.
About the Residency
The primary focus of this residency features Joyce DiDonato singing and in dialogue with people from a variety of different backgrounds, casting a spotlight on the healing power of calling on great art from the past centuries to pass through challenging events of the present day. Expected themes such as grief, community, unity, patriotism, and nature will factor in as topics unveiling themselves in our current headlines.
Sing For Today is co-produced by UMS and Princeton University Concerts.
Julia Darlow and John O’Meara
Anne and Paul Glendon
Norman and Debbie Herbert
Stephen and Rosamund Forrest
Beverley and Gerson Geltner
Susan and Richard Gutow
James and Nancy Stanley
Funded in part by
UMS Sustaining Directors
About the Artist
A multiple Grammy-winner, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is a transformative presence in the arts whose healing approach to music has taken her beyond the world’s great opera stages to educational institutions, refugee camps, and maximum-security prisons. She has appeared on UMS concerts three times in the past several years, including in the lead role in Handel’s Ariodante, with pianist Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Schubert’s Winterreise, and again with Nézet-Séguin and his Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal in November 2019. She is an exclusive recording artist with Erato-Warner Classics, which is proud to be associated with this innovative project.
Visit Joyce’s website and follow her on:
Listen to Joyce’s recordings on:
Meet the full Digital Artist Residency cohort:
Wendell Pierce | Tarek Yamani & Spektral Quartet | Tunde Olaniran | Cleo Parker Robinson | Brian Lobel & Friends | Joyce DiDonato