Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will bring a program called War & Peace: Harmony Through Music to two Bay Area locations this weekend. On Friday night, she’ll be at the Bing Concert Hall for Stanford Live, and Sunday afternoon, in Berkeley for Cal Performances. The concept is her response to the Paris attacks of last November, and she says it reflects the good and evil both in ourselves as individuals as well as in the world.
“I’ve always felt that art and music is a mirror into our lives and into ourselves as human beings,” DiDonato says. “And certainly this is a quintessential moment to be looking at ourselves because we’re really at a crossroads, as a society and as a culture.” She’s organized the concert program in two halves, as she did her most recent CD, with the first half reflecting war and devastation, and the second half peace and repose. “To present both sides of ourselves through this music, and to offer an invitation to the listener, to the concertgoer, to reflect in themselves, and see which side they would like to nurture and to grow right now in this particular moment in time. In the end, especially with the concert, it’s almost as if one human being is going through all these emotions, rather than Dido and Almirena. So that the listener can take this journey from the dark, from war into something that is more serene and tranquil.”