MEZZO-SOPRANO JOYCE DIDONATO LAUNCHES “SING FOR TODAY” PROJECT
IN COLLABORATION WITH PRINCETON UNIVERSITY CONCERTS AND
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY (UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN)
In a series of short videos, the opera star uses song as a lens through which to process, navigate, and respond to current events and global concerns. The first, newly-released segment, is inspired by long voter-lines across the country and patriotism in this current moment. DiDonato sings “This Land is Your Land” and converses with Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller and student members of Poll Hero.
Princeton University Concerts and the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan have released the first installment of a new digital initiative conceived by multiple Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. “Sing for Today” features DiDonato responding to current events and global concerns through the lens of song and conversation. The first episode, available for free viewing at princetonuniversityconcerts.org and ums.org/singfortoday, taps into the energy of the upcoming general election. In response to images of long early-voter lines across the country, DiDonato sings “This Land is Your Land” accompanied by guitarist Àlex Garrobé in tribute to the passionate voters. She then frames the song in conversation with Hamilton lead producer Jeffrey Seller and with students Kai Tsurumaki (Princeton Class of 2023) and Saika Islam (University of Michigan Class of 2021)—members of the Poll Hero Project, dedicated to recruiting young people across the country to be poll workers.
Future episodes of “Sing For Today” will feature DiDonato singing and in dialogue with people from a variety of different backgrounds, calling on great songs to permeate profound events of the present day. The first episode, and all future episodes, will be available for free viewing at princetonuniversityconcerts.org and
ums.org/singfortoday. Joyce DiDonato appears by kind permission of Warner Classics/Erato.
ABOUT JOYCE DIDONATO
In all her endeavors, both on and off the stage, Joyce DiDonato engages audiences through her energy,
imagination, and commitment to her art form. Through these qualities, and with a constantly questing spirit, she
has nurtured the vocal, musical and dramatic talents that have taken her to the pinnacle of her profession as a performer. Equally, they serve her as an eloquent and formidable advocate for the transformative power of the arts as she takes music far beyond the world’s great stages — to educational institutions, refugee camps, and
maximum-security prisons. “Music heals,” she has said, “and it can fire people up with purpose and courage to change the world.” The winner of multiple Grammys and the 2018 Olivier Award, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato
is, in the words of the New Yorker, “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation”, her voice having been described by The Times as “nothing less than 24-carat gold.” For all its beauty and agility, its true impact lies in Joyce’s capacity to illuminate character and meaning through nuances of color and phrasing and her unfailingly communicative way with the text. DiDonato is part of UMS’s Digital Artist Residency program in the 2020/21 season.
ABOUT ÀLEX GARROBÉ
Alex Garrobés has performed in more than 40 countries in some of the most prestigious concert halls, including
the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Radio France Auditorium in Paris, the Auditorio Nacional, Madrid, the Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona, and the Lutosławski Auditorium in Warsaw. He has made recordings for the Harmonia Mundi, Opera Tres and Columna Musica labels. His many collaborations as a soloist with orchestra include the premieres of Mare Nostrum Concerto by Salvador Brotons, …di un soffio d’aura by Agustin Charles and Concierto de Petrer by Simone Iannarelli, among others. Alex Garrobe is currently professor of guitar and chamber music at the Catalan Music College.
ABOUT JEFFREY SELLER
Jeffrey Seller is the winner of four Tony Awards for Best Musical: Rent (1996), Avenue Q (2004), In the
Heights (2008) and Hamilton (2016). Jeffrey has also produced and/or developed De La Guarda (1998), Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party (2000), Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème (2002), High Fidelity (2006), the Broadway revival of West Side Story (2009) and Sting’s The Last Ship (2014) among others. Seller, along with former business partner Kevin McCollum, created the first ever Broadway lottery for Rent, which for over 20 years has been a popular way to see Broadway shows (often in the first two rows) at an affordable price. He is the only producer to have produced two Pulitzer Prize-winning musicals, for Rent and Hamilton. Along with opening
multiple Hamilton companies across North America and London, Jeffrey was the executive producer of the NBCdrama Rise and developed a new musical based on the life and music of Cher. Jeffrey grew up in Oak Park, Michigan and is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.
ABOUT THE POLL HERO PROJECT
The Poll Hero Project is recruiting thousands of college and high school students to be paid poll workers for the 2020 election. The initiative was founded by a group of Princeton University students including Kai Tsurumaki, Denver East High School students, and a University of Chicago Booth School of Business graduate who care deeply about democracy and non-partisanship. For more information, visit pollhero.org.