Joyce DiDonato: ‘We are culpable in Charleston’

The US mezzo opens tonight in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, her mind shadowed by violence and war.

joyce didonato stonewall

 

Joyce writes:  I dedicate my run of performances as Romeo here in Zurich to my fellow human beings who have had to suffer the continued effects of rampant racism in my Country; to the mothers who have to explain to their beautiful young sons, that because their skin is dark, they must expect to be targeted and therefore must constantly be on the defense; to the utterly misguided, ill-educated, lost and fearful people who thing eradication is a solution; to the devastated, grieving families of the 9 human beings slaughtered in their place of worship, who, within HOURS of losing their loved ones, stood in front of the world and the person who murdered their family members and taught us what love is by simply saying “We forgive you”.

Read her full post here.

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  • Robert Eshbach says:

    From the New York Times:
    CHARLESTON, S.C. — One by one, they looked to the screen in a corner of the courtroom on Friday, into the expressionless face of the young man charged with making them motherless, snuffing out the life of a promising son, taking away a loving wife for good, bringing a grandmother’s life to a horrific end. And they answered him with forgiveness.
    “You took something very precious away from me,” said Nadine Collier, daughter of 70-year-old Ethel Lance, her voice rising in anguish. “I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”
    The occasion was a bond hearing, the first court appearance of the suspect, Dylann Roof, for the murders, thought to be racially motivated, of nine black men and women during Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday night.
    It was as if the Bible study had never ended as one after another, victims’ family members offered lessons in forgiveness, testaments to a faith that is not compromised by violence or grief. They urged him to repent, confess his sins and turn to God.
    “We welcomed you Wednesday night in our Bible study with open arms,” said Felicia Sanders, the mother of 26-year old Tywanza Sanders, a poet who died after trying to save his aunt, who was also killed.
    “You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that I know,” she said in a quavering voice. “Every fiber in my body hurts, and I will never be the same. Tywanza Sanders is my son, but Tywanza was my hero. Tywanza was my hero. But as we say in Bible study, we enjoyed you. But may God have mercy on you.”
    The statements offered a moment of grace in a day when new details emerged about a massacre that has stunned the nation, echoing a long history of racial violence.

  • Nick says:

    Joyce DiDonato is an exceptional artist and a brave and exceptional human being.

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