Joyce DiDonato's newsletter for high school students · Issue #1

HELLO and welcome to OPERA ROCKS!

“I’ve noticed a fabulous trend from social media about young opera lovers: often times in high school, you will feel as if you are the only person on the planet who likes opera, because you may be the only one at your school who (secretly!) has a passion for it.  Through social media, however, you can connect across cities, states, even countries. Many times a group of 15-20 of you guys have saved up and made the trip to your “first live opera”, and you meet at the stage door to complete your experience full-circle. It’s been one of the most encouraging things I’ve seen in the music business. I am simply giving back to YOU, letting you know you are not alone, and providing a platform for you to connect and share this wonderful, eye-opening world of opera.”   Joyce DiDonato



This brand new e-newsletter, geared for high schoolers, will feature topics relating to music education, and practical advice on healthy singing, audition preparation, performance opportunities, and selecting repertoire. I'll also share an in-depth look at what it's like to be an opera singer living on the road!

Educating our next generation on the benefits of music, as performers as well as appreciators, is vitally important. Opera Rocks will serve as a direct channel of communication with students, educators, and arts advocates across the globe.

Please join me and spread the word about Opera Rocks! Forward this e-mail to your friends and colleagues, or share the link to join the mailing list on social media.

Thank you, and stay tuned!

Joyce DiDonato interviews Mark Hancock

Joyce talks about theater and opera with her Great Scott co-star Mark Hancock during rehearsal at The Dallas Opera.

Ella Fitzgerald & Mel Tormé perform scat at the 18th Grammy, Feb. 1976

Technically, this isn’t opera, but don’t shoot me! What this IS, is two INCREDIBLE vocalists who demonstrate unparalleled musicality, passion, tone, intonation, imagination, ensemble - AND - unbridled joy! It’s a huge inspiration to me, even if our genres differ (slightly). Watch and be AMAZED!


Lorraine Hunt Lieberson: “As with rosy ” from Theodora (Handel)

A perfect example of how opera can make time stand still (a gift in today’s hectic and chaotic time!) Listen as Lorraine Hunt Lieberson emotes from the very core of her being, singing the music of an old man (G. F. Handel) who lived roughly 250 years before she did, and yet time disappears, and we can still be moved by pure beauty, overcome by hope and possibility!! 


Diana Damrau: “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen” from The Magic Flute (Mozart)

For a great example of what the operatic voice can do above and beyond mere mortal vocal cords, listen to Diana Damrau hit the heights in the most spectacular way as she works to convince her daughter to kill her enemy.  (This is opera, after all - revenge gets top billing!) I dare you to try it during your next shower!

Go into the arts...

“Go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”   Kurt Vonnegut