WATCH THIS: Opera Diva Joyce DiDonato Singing at Stonewall Will Leave You In Tears


Joyce DiDonato Stonewall

Well, I sure didn’t think I’d be bursting into tears first thing this morning as I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, but leave it to extraordinary opera singer Joyce DiDonato to change all that.

DiDonato, an extremely open advocate for gay rights, recently filmed a performance of “When I Am Laid in the Earth” from the opera Dido and Aeneas at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village. She’s surrounded by many a gay icon, too: Temple alum and DOMA-defeater Edie Windsor and playwright Terrence McNally (whose Mothers and Sons is opening this week at Philadelphia Theatre Company) are both in the bar crowd as DiDonato sings a passionate rendition of the aria.

The recording was made in memory of Mark Caron, the gay man who was shot and killed several blocks away from Stonewall. New York City police said the shooting was clearly a hate crime.

“The idea of a murder happening blocks away from the Stonewall Inn is incomprehensible to me,” DiDonato said in an interview with NPR, who also produced the recording. “It shouldn’t happen anywhere. It tells me that we’re not done talking, and we are not done working for people to comprehend what equality is about and why it is important.”

This isn’t the first time DiDonato has spoken out for LGBT rights: The singer dedicated a rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” at the London Proms concert to gay men and women in Russia who were being persecuted. At the Santa Fe Opera, she dedicated her performance to a gay New Mexican teen who killed himself after being bullied:

Santa Fe Opera