In times like these, art has the power to make us feel less alone
Christina Patterson – The Guardian – Saturday, November 26, 2016
“As a citizen of the world in 2016,” says DiDonato (American opera singer Joyce DiDonato) in the introduction to (her) concert programme, “at times I feel overwhelmed by the temptation to spiral down into the turmoil and pessimism that threatens to invade all corners of our lives”. But the creators of “great art”, she says, show us “both our brutal nature and our elevated humanity.” Art, she says, “unifies, transcends borders” and “is a valiant path to peace”. I don’t know if art can be a path to peace. I don’t know if it could end the war in Syria, or create jobs in the so-called rust belt of America, or fill a £122bn Brexit “black hole”. What I do know is this. When bad things happen in the world, or in our lives, that art can make us feel less alone. And I know that to create the kind of art that hits us at the deepest levels, you need to be a master of your craft. You need, you could say, to be an expert. You need to think that expertise is good.