Joyce DiDonato on 'dumbing down' opera

15 May 2013, 14:32 | Updated: 15 May 2013, 17:13

Fancy producing Joyce DiDonato's new album? She's putting her Facebook fans in the driving seat in an attempt to make opera more accessible.

After releasing 14 albums, Joyce DiDonato is releasing a 'best of' double CD set. But it's an album with a difference - she's asking her fans to act as producers, choosing the track listing, writing the sleeve notes, and sharing their stories of what the music means to them.

Sharing her passion for the world of opera with Classic FM's Lucy Coward, Joyce explained it's not the music itself that's putting people off. Changing the way the 'product' is packaged is half the battle, so she's hoping her latest album will help her cause.

"We've played into stereotypes that opera is stand and sing, that opera is for the rich and the old, and some of those things have been true, but it's never been the only thing about opera," she said. "We don't need to dumb down the music, we need to rethink the way we're presenting it sometimes, and the way that we're bringing it into the 21st century."

In this charming interview, Joyce explains the pressures faced by modern opera singers in the age of social media and PR, and how she chooses to unwind - with a spot of baking, of course!