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God's Gift of Music: Opera Singer Joyce DiDonato

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Opera Singer Joyce DiDonato
Opera Singer Joyce DiDonato

Have you ever had someone tell you your were not going to make it or were not suited for your dream or career?

Many of us have.

Opera Singer Joyce DiDonato tells about her experience with discouragement in the video below.

How do WE become resilient in the face of discouragement or criticism?

Because we are flawed, we can all expect criticism from time to time.

"If the criticism comes from someone who doesn’t know you at all (and often this is the case on the internet) it is possible that the criticism is completely unwarranted and profoundly mistaken. I am often pilloried not only for views I do have, but also even more often for views (and motives) that I do not hold at all. When that happens, it is even easier to fall into a smugness and perhaps be tempted to laugh at how mistaken your critics are. “Pathetic . . .” you may be tempted to say. Don’t do it. Even if there is not the slightest kernel of truth in what the critic says, you should not mock them in your thoughts. First, remind yourself of examples of your own mistakes, foolishness, and cluelessness in the past, times in which you really got something wrong. Second, pray for the critic, that he or she grows in grace." - Timothy Keller

Remember that our aim as Christians is not to ultimately please other people or should we try to gain an upper hand. Our aim is to please Christ with lives of humility, faithfulness, and love. We must pursue and aspire to a kind of character and humility that makes it difficult for others to accuse us, not for our own glory but for the glory of Christ.

The truth of the gospel is that Christ died for our sins, he was buried, he was raised for our justification, and that he lives today to make intercession for us all. The Gospel frees us to receive criticism without anger & indignation. As we are reflected in God’s Holiness, we can realize and embrace that we are much more sinful than our critic can ever express.

When criticized we can look past the immediate gratification of being vindicated in this life. Someday or Lord will bring to light “the things now hidden” and “the purposes of the heart.”

The reality is it is a small thing to be judged by men. God is the only righteous Judge, and the only one whose opinion of us ultimately matters.

“The fire you have to walk through will be one of the greatest strengths you have.” - Joyce DiDonato

"Two-time Grammy Award winner Joyce DiDonato has been proclaimed “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation." Her many other honors include the Gramophone Artist of the Year and Recital of the Year awards. In this portrait, she recounts the trajectory of her musical and life journey that began with a prominent figure telling her she had nothing to offer as an artist-- and developed into one of the most important musicians on the stages today." from video introduction

Joyce DiDonato: ‘I’m trying to balance activism and joy’

"Standing alone under the glass-and-iron canopy of the Royal Opera House’s Paul Hamlyn Hall, the American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is in full dramatic flight: winking, grinning, pouting, flirting, twirling, giggling. It’s a lesson for the photo-phobic: always give your all, even to an inanimate camera lens. The Observer’s photographer makes one last request and it doesn’t sound simple: would she lie down on that sofa over there so he can snap her from the gallery above? Furniture is rearranged. They’ve already had an hour. Inwardly I’m an emoji scream. DiDonato is right there, splayed out Hollywood-starlet style, shoes on, off, hand this way, arm flung back, patience personified. When the shoot is over, she says how much she enjoyed it – an unheard-of response from a madly busy international opera star, just out of a long day’s rehearsal.

As we walk through the ROH’s backstage warren to a private room to talk, she’s instantly in offstage mode, conversational, candid, warm, funny, reflecting on the day’s rehearsal. “The mood was black. I’ve got to shake it off,” she shudders, describing not the working atmosphere but aspects of Handel’s Agrippina (1709), in which she sings the title role in a new production for the Royal Opera by Barrie Kosky. This co-production with Bavarian State Opera, Munich, and Dutch National Opera is conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev in his house debut.." from video introduction.." from the article: Joyce DiDonato: ‘I’m trying to balance activism and joy’

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