Arts Lab Experimental visual arts for social change

‘Art gives hope in something bigger’ – Joyce DiDonato

Transcript of BBC Radio 3 conversation between In Tune’s Sean Rafferty and Joyce DiDonato, renowned American mezzo-soprano – November 2017

‘I was set to do another recording project – the Paris attacks had just happened, I’d just finished this world premier in Dallas called Great Scott where I played an operatic singer who’s asking the question does art really matter? – That was heavy on my conscience and I was starting to feel very pessimistic …. . I thought, I want to say something different with this project. We already had 20 different cities set up for a tour. … I wanted to bring a message of hope. More than a message, I want to invite people – through this music that we love so much – to see if we can’t find a way to integrate it into our lives a little bit more outside of the concert hall. What (music) can do is reinforce people’s belief in themselves. It reinforces people’s hope in something bigger than themselves, and if they have that hope, they might work a little bit harder to solve some of the problems. I doubt maybe that it’s the exact catalyst, but I think it’s an enormous part of the machinery that can lift people up and keep them from really turning to despair. … I think in a lot of the things that we’re facing today, despair is perhaps our biggest enemy.’