Opera star Joyce DiDonato pays tribute to victims of intolerance and injustice in an NPR Music “Field Recording” video, released Wednesday at npr.org/music. In the video, DiDonato performs Henry Purcell’s aria “When I Am Laid In Earth” at historic Greenwich Village gay bar The Stonewall Inn, blocks from where Mark Carson was shot and killed in a hate crime in May 2013. The intimate audience includes Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, as well as Edith Windsor, whose landmark civil rights trial forced the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage.
Winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Kansas-born DiDonato entrances audiences and critics alike across the globe, and has been proclaimed ‘the perfect 21st century diva’ by The New York Times. Her new album Stella di Napoli debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Traditional charts and has been nominated for a Grammy.
DiDonato says she hopes the video will not only honor Carson’s memory, but will also offer some consolation to all of those affected by bigotry and hatred.
DiDonato told NPR Music, “It’s not only important for gay people. It’s important for all of us because we are only as good as the weakest member of our community. If there’s intolerance and injustice being waged against people, we feel that. Because in the end, we’re all in this together.”
In the video, DiDonato is accompanied by students from Juilliard’s period-instrument ensemble Juilliard415.
NPR Music collaborates with NPR’s newsmagazines, public radio Member Stations and the passionate NPR community to celebrate great music in every genre. Visit NPR.org/Music to see more “Field Recordings” and discover new music to love.