Friday, January 15, 2016


JOYCE DIDONATO (painting by John C. Tibbetts)

Two items of note, music lovers! One is the news from Variety that MERYL STREEP is portraying the renowned (and notorious) FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS. The biopic is due out this August. The other news is that Kansas City native and international opera star JOYCE DI DONATO may be the subject of a new documentary film.

Meryl Streep with John C. Tibbetts

FIRST, THE STREEP-JENKINS BIOPIC. From Variety: Meryl Streep is to star in a biopic of the famously awful opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944) for director Stephen Frears. The three-time Oscar-winning actor will take the role of Jenkins, an heiress who used her wealth to embark on a singing career that took her to concert halls across the US in the 1920s, 30s and 40s despite her complete inability to hold a note or stay in time. Hugh Grant is in line to play the soprano’s partner and manager, St Clair Bayfield, with the film titled simply FLORENCE.

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant
Jenkins was known for her utter intransigence in the face of widespread public ridicule, which eventually led to a phenomenon whereby audiences would pay top dollar to see her perform terribly. “People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing,” she is said to have once pointed out.

Florence Foster Jenkins
IN THE SECOND STORY... Just a few days ago, it was announced that a serious documentary starring renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, a Kansas City native, will begin filming this month, with a contemplated release date of November 2016. Those familiar with her work know that Joyce DiDonato projects superb acting skill as well as vocal ability. If the project is completed, the film should be a dazzler. The film will be cloud-funded. The campaign's goal is E15,000.00. As of this writing (1/15/2016), the contemplated fund-raising is to run for 30 more days. In the first few days it has already achieved 29% of its goal (54 donors).

Publicity photo of Joyce DiDonato