Saturday, July 4, 2009

And the show went on!!!

Well, so much to tell about tonight's performance. I don't know that I have ever experienced an evening quite like this one before - but I'm certain that I have invoked a new policy regarding well-wishers!!

From here on out, I declare that no one (please!) ever ever ever wish me again, in the American fashion (despite it being Independence Day), to:


I understand the good intention, but from here on out, wish me "in the mouth of the wolf" instead, ok? That's far less likely to actually happen - although with my luck, you never know!

Tonight was an evening for the memory, to be sure, and it had little to do with my falling down and breaking my fibia. Yes - I broke my fibia. Fabulous. But it had a lot more to do with amazing colleagues helping me through every little step, astonishing music making at every single level, hair raising improvising by myself and my ridiculously brilliant cast, and a lot of patience on the part of the public.

"Hey, London - Thank you!!!"

4 hours in the emergency room (Hey, it could have been worse!), and a look of pure astonishment from the doctor who recoiled in a bit of horror as I said I stayed on my foot for nearly 3 hours performing. Ha, silly me - apparently this kind of injury requires absolutely no weight to be put on to it - so I'm crossing my fingers that not too much damage was done! However - the cast is on, the foot is elevated, the pain killers are kicking in, and all is great!!! I'm sure we'll figure out how to get through these next performances, after all, there is no RULE that says Rosina might not have been suffering from a broken ankle, right? It could happen!!

But before signing off, I have to send out an INCREDIBLE debt of gratitude to my wonderful cast mates (ha - CAST mates!), as well as to the amazing staff of the Royal Opera House who took amazing care of me, and then to simply salute one of the very finest operatic experiences I have ever been a part of. Yes, my ankle is killing me, but someone pinch me, because tonight was oddly sublime!!!

With the incomparable Alessandro Corbelli and Ferruccio Furlanetto, somehow making everything seem ok!

And with Señor Florez who sang an unbelievable "Cessa di piu resistere" all the while being sure to help keep me on my feet. Ah, and the thing that made my night was the flower decoration I found to put on the cast - somehow it helped me swallow the bitter pill of having to hobble my way through this production that I normally run through. Yes, it's the details that count!

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart and the bottom of my cracked fibia, to everyone for your support and understanding in this! Here's to a speedy and complete recovery!!!


Raisa said...

Dear Joyce:
From the bottom of my heart, wishes of speedy recovery and thank you so much on behalf of your fans all around the world, for your talent, your unbeatable spirit and dedication!

Anonymous said...

Oh my... broken right fibia and she says it could have been worse!

How did you fall? The pain that comes with a broken bone is horribly intense and you still went on to sing through it! Geez... Now you earned one super-prefix, like SuperYankeediva, or shortly Superdiva.

Great support from your colleagues. It's def a feelgood part of the whole thing. Super-Kudos to them!

I have the tics for next Friday, and the selfish part of me would love to see you on stage, BUT your health comes first.

Good luck Superdiva and get well soon! xoxo

Smorg said...

Argghhh! That opera stage sure can be hazardous sometimes! :o( Sorry you actually broke a leg... You're not supposed to take well wishes that seriously!

Sending you the best of wishes for a speedy and hopefully very painless recovery. Get well soon... or the wolf won't be happy to have you in its mouth either (the plaster would make for sticky swallowing, I think). :o) Teu! Teu! Teu!

Mei said...

Get well soon...!

I love the photo with JDF...

Unknown said...

We were there. It was a truly fantastic evening. Your commitment and courage are a lesson to us all and your singing was as beautiful as ever.

Take care and here's hoping you recover quickly.

Unknown said...

Dear Ms DiDonato,

To begin with, I would like you to know that your performance last night at the ROH was and will be unforgettable! I have still been impressed what an amazing stage you an you cast mates created.

I had immediately relaised something happened to you, but I just thought you twisted your ankle.

Hope your recovery will be good and enjoy your rest!

love_4_opera said...


We love U so much! U're such a hero!

No broken leg, ha?
(learned from Carlo Bergonzi:) )

"In culo alla balena!"

(U answer: Che non scorreggi)

sophie said...

"Another opening, another show ... or is it ?"
Well it was certainly building up to something quite special !
I wish you ... a lot of memorable quotes and drawings to decorate your cast (wish I could) : it will make quite a souvenir and of course, a speedy recovery !!

All the best

Operafan said...

Oh noooooooooo!!! How could this possibly happen??? It's definitely the night of the "cast"...Get well fast and take care!! All best:-)

Colin said...

Dear Joyce - I was in the audience at ROH last night and thorougly enjoyed the performance. You were amazing to carry on for the rest of the show! Wishing you a very speedy recovery.


Unknown said...

Girl, you are one tough cookie! Read about your fall in another blog but had no idea how bad it really was. Get well soon (and maybe ask for sneakers to go with your costume next time ;-))

Antxi said...

Hi Joyce

I will be there in London to see you next 10 of July. I hope your pain will be less than now. And your right, there is no libreto's rule that say "Rosina doesn't have a broken leg" je je ;) .

Get well soon!! :D

Antxi (Spain)

Irina said...

I'm so sorry for this. But congrats on deciding to go on. Standing or seated I'm sure the audience (me included as I'll be at ROH on July 10th) will be more than happy to listen to you. I don't imagine a Rosina better than you.

I wish you fast recovery!

fer said...

Braaava! Braaaavaaaa!

Good recovery!

Unknown said...

Joyce, you are a super trouper! Just how did you so brilliantly and movingly when you were in such terrible pain? Thank you from the bottom of my heart for soldiering on and giving all of us in the audience such an incredible evening, one of the most amazing I've ever experienced in an opera house.

Here's hoping you'll be back on both feet speedily!

AL said...

OMG ! And you finished the performance...
You're mad ! (Please note that it's a huge compliment for me, as I love this kind of madness).
It prooves once again how you're devoted to music, audiences, colleagues and your job. And you're so brave. All kind of things that (with your incredible and emotionnal singing - one can not forget that) that make us love you !
I wish you the best (you deserve it).

(Sorry for the bad English... I'm French).

Brian said...

What a great performance! Your commitment to your art, fellow performers, and audience under such circumstances, and frank physical pain, is awe inspiring. Sitting in the audience, I was really moved by your perseverance. Here's wishing you a very speedy recovery.

Unknown said...

Bless you! Do get well fast. I am looking forward to your performances back here stateside in the upcoming season.

Simon said...

I've literally just read about your wonderful performance on Intermezzo's blog and this awful accident. You are an absolute star of the first order to continue to perform after such an accident!! I am sure the London audience and the ROH will love you forever for your courage and absolute professionalism, let alone musicianship! I hope your fractured fibia heals well and that you are comfortable & pain free.
S x

Anonymous said...

Hi JoyDe

It's a pity, hope you're getting better and never ever lose your smile, don't let your shiny face fade away, no matter broken legs neither wolves' mouths...
You stayed on your foot nearly three hours, that's the best an artist may say 'bout herself... as you give us the best of you, and we're aware of it, thanks a billion.
Get well soon, as we need you out there ;-)
In the mouth of the wolf, now and forever.
Kisses, and all the best.

Anonymous said...

As you're on-line now, just to let you know I'm listening to you ;-)

Ann said...

OUCH!! What a brave, strong woman you are to sing on a broken bone! How did you do it?

Heal quickly and heal well!!!

Kenderina said...

Hope the pain will be soon over, Joyce !! You are a such a great artist (just like the rest of your cast mates) that it doesn't mind if Rosina has a crutch or she's is in a wheelchair...while you are singing it !
But do what you feel better for you and don't think too much about this bunch of people (in which I include myself, going on the 10th!) that loves you but are not actually feeling any pain , take care of yourself !!

Hugs !!

La Nouvelle Heloise said...

My husband and I left in awe of yesterday's performance. An unforgettable evening & we felt privileged to be there. So sorry to hear about the broken leg and we hope you recover fast to charm us again with your wonderful voice & persona.

You take professionalism to a whole new level Joyce!

All the very best, LNH

Unknown said...

Hope you have a speedy and pain free recovery. That is a terrific story. My Friend Maria Nockin will be writing it in the Classical Singer Mag Bulletin Board for September. You are one terrific trouper!

Alex Macias said...

Dear Joyce,

You're such a professional, and I admire you for your passion, courage and commitment to work. I wish you a fast recovery.

Best wishes from Mexico,

Alex Macias.

Voceditenore said...

You were wonderful last night! The most beautifully sung and acted Rosina I've ever heard. And the bravest opera singer I've ever seen! Brava, bravissima! And best wishes for a speedy recovery.

FC xx said...

Joyce, I just wanted to say you were fantastic last night. I saw you fall over but didn't realise how serious it was until after the interval. I can't believe you kept on smiling under the circumstances - and your singing really was truly stunning

Wishing you a very speedy recovery!

chris said...

Dear Joyce: Incredibly brave of you to soldier on to the end. But now you need to put yourself and your recovery first. I hope that will be speedy and complete and you back to singing so marvelously again soon. And after this (dare I say it?) "watch your step."

Very best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Someone started a thread on our forum wishing you the best and to get well soon.


Unknown said...

Dear Joyce, you are one courageous Rosina! I admire so much your dedication to music and art, and your optimistic attitude towards everything in life. All the best for a quick recovery!

Anna O

Tom Maxwell said...

Joyce: Congratulations on seeing it through to the end, and hope you'll be ok again soon.


Gi said...

So, one comes back from a relaxing weekend to learn one's favourite mezzo has literally broken a leg during performance.
Of course you would go on - no one who reads this blog can be surprised. You are one heck of a lady (please take this as a compliment).
Get well soon, dear Joyce. Hugs.

Alixkovich said...

You're incredible! I hope you recover quickly!

Erin said...

Here's to a speedy recovery. How you managed to make it through the whole performance is amazing. Brava!

Unknown said...

good grief, Joyce!
You are upholding a long tradition of brave performers - including Sarah Bernhardt, for one!
We admired your pizazz long before you broke your fibia.
Although I missed the show yesterday, I really loved your contribution to In Tune on Radio 3.
Hey, what a gal! hope you get better soon. A kiss from Juan Diego is a pretty good compensation for the pain, surely?!

DM said...

Get well son!

I love the way you sing

Mandy said...

ACK!!!! Talk about dedication...and I'm thinking this will be one of those amazing stories you will share for the rest of your life. Recover quickly and I'm so glad your cast, haha, was there to support you!

Diana said...

What a trouper! Brava, and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Hairman said...

Take the broken fibia away and last night was a thrilling night with fabulous performances from everyone concerned...add the broken fibia and, well, I've tried to think of something worthwhile to say during a three hour bus ride and I'm still, frankly, lost for words.

So all I can come up with (and apologies for it sounding as if I've lifted it from a greeting card...I haven't by the way...) is I truly wish your leg a full, and steady, recovery!

pepita said...

oh dear ! incredible how you still thanks everybody whereas you're the one (and the rest of the Cast) to be over-thanked. My friends thought that the walking stick at the end of the first act was part of the staging !!!

This evening was awesome !

Wishing you the best recovery and good luck for other performances.

Millions of thanks

Sibyl said...

I guess we can now add "super-human endurance" to our list of DiDonato-centric superlatives. Get well soon, and ride the high of an incredible theatrical experience until the painkillers kick in!

Susan said...

Oh my goodness! Talk about dedication! I hope you're feeling better soon!

jill martin said...

Dear Joyce, I was in the third row. I just knew when you fell that it was not good, but you made it look like part of the show. I flew from Chicago to hear you sing Rossina for the 5th time. Your voice has never been lovlier. I will be there again on Tuesday remember we come to hear you the cast will just be a sort of bonus! Jill Martin

Maury D'annato said...

...and with that, you have your own entry for future volumes of opera lore, right alongside Di Stefano breaking Rise Stevens' arm!

Drammy said...

Wow, talk about soldiering on!

And that is the cutest cast-picture EVER. Adorable! :]

Fedora said...

Desde Madrid te deseo una pronta recuperación y te expreso mi mayor admiración y reconocimiento.
Un fuerte abrazo.

Gerald said...

Oh Joyce!!! So sorry to read that things actually got "slightly" worse, since the curtain fall on this truly historic (in so many ways!!!) performance. I wish you de tout coeur the smoothest and speediest recovery and I'd like to THANK YOU a million, and express my deepest admiration for your IMMENSE courage and all you gave us Saturday night. I am certain your wonderful colleagues and the staff of the theatre were great and the support which came from the auditorium probably lifted you up as well, but you were the only one suffering the pain. Therefore, really, "chapeau" as we say in French. From now on, you will definitely enter into the history as SUPER-JOYCE! All the very best and get well, very, very soon!

Lydia said...

Sending good thoughts your way...

Get better soon! =)


Hariclea said...

I just don't know anyone else like you :-) Neither such a brave person nore such an incredible singer!! Hope the pain is lessening and that you are not having much trouble with you cast ;-) Take good care of yourself and i hope you get some amazing signatures on that cast ;-)))

Unknown said...

Hey Yankee Diva!!

The last time I saw you in the Met fell in the first act finale (luckily you weren't hurt). WOW...what a trouper and bless you and the rest of the cast for being so supportive. Hope the rest of the run is a good one.
Going to see Lawrence Brownlee in his first ELISIR at Caramoor and will send him your regards.
Take care and looking forward to seeing you this fall in BARBIERE at the Met.
Love & hugs XXX

Robert in New Orleans said...

You've inspired me with your music-making and you now astonish me with your guts. You must be one tough customer to continue performing after such an accident! Get well soon!

Mr. Classical Guy said...

SO if they record this it will be an "ORIGINAL CAST" recording!

Bocca di Lupo from now on!


Shuunya said...

You didn't have to go to all that trouble to earn the respect of the British audience. We love you already!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery Superdiva!

marcillac said...

Absolutely stunning!!!

The amazing cast not withstanding you would have owned that show had you been in perfect health. Its alway impressed me how physically demanding an activity opera singing can be but it utterly defies comprehension that someone can sing so sensationally and act so convincingly under these circumstances.

Best wishes for the fastest and least painful recovery possible!!


An to think, I actually had to be dragged, nearly at gun point, to be in London for the weekend.

josep said...

I'm from Barcelona. The next 15th July we are going to London with some friends to see Il Barbiere. We would be very happy if we could see you on stage. But if the injury prevents you we will resign and we expect to see you in Barcelona next year. Get well soon. Kisses

PS. I am very fond of photography and I love your photos.

Paul King said...

Dear Joyce, here's wishing you a speedy recovery. I have tickets to see you on Tuesday night and am praying that you will be able to perform but will fully understand if you are unable to. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Dear dear Superdiva,

That prima became a story of global proportions. Everybody's talking about you. Smashing reviews about the most memorable opera-evening, plus the whole drama that paralleled the performance.

From the photos on Intermezzo's blog you could tell you were in pain :-( It's still unreal to me that you've managed to finish the show.

Hope you feel OK today (?)
I'm sure you're taking care of yourself and you wouldn't perform through too much pain again. Health comes first and then everything else. [Just saying]


marcillac said...


that should be "...even if you had been ...". The drama only enhanced the effect and while I suppose we can write the dramatic component off to extraordinary will power and composure, we really cannot identify the source of the ability to sing that remarkably difficult music with such technical perfection and beauty of tone under such extreme physical duress.

I hope I cleared that up but I'm suffering from jet leg as a consequence of a recently completed transatlantic flight, and quite unlike you, being a wimp am finding it even more difficult than usual to express a coherent thought.

Elaine said...

I was there last night but we weretold you had only sprained your ankle. The entire evening was perfection from start to end - if you want to read my review over on my blog here is the link:

You will forgive me when you read that I did not know of you before last night, I certainly do now! Thankyou for a wonderful evening


Unknown said...

OMG!! Get better soon!! And enjoy the vicodin!! If its any consolation I broke my toe right before an audition.

Paul said...

You were wonderful on Saturday night, it was a privilege to be there. Every best wish for a full and speedy recovery.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...


artandhockey said...

Joyce, we are stunned.
You are a trooper, a fantastic singing one! Speedy recovery to you from an 'OLD' studio buddy.

Ah, yes that phrase.... but then as an Austrian I always wish everyone TOI TOI TOI. So many R Toi Toi Tois to you and thanks for "the show must go on" spirit you show in abundance!

Randal Swiggum said...

What a memorable evening you gave everyone! Best wishes for a speedy recovery, from us here in Madison. Greetings to Leo!

Randy (and little Simon, aka "Dolore")

Paulo said...

Hi Joyce. Feeling better?
I hope you get well soon. Congratulations for your courage deciding to go on with these performances. A friend of mine who lives in London will attend one.

Your broken leg reminds me of the story of Portuguese soprano Elisabete Matos singing Santuzza in Lisbon some years ago. After slipping on the inclined stage that represented a mountain she also broke a toe (not a leg...) and continued singing until the end. Only later we knew what had really happened.

So please don't break anything else.

All the best to you.