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Opera Star Joyce DiDonato Honors Anti-Gay Hate Crime Victims With Stonewall Performance

02/05/2015 10:09 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Opera diva Joyce DiDonato took to the most appropriate stage possible -- New York's Stonewall Inn -- to honor victims of hate and intolerance in a heartbreakingly beautiful performance.

In this NPR Music "Field Recording" clip, the Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano returns to the birthplace of the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement to perform Henry Purcell's tender aria, "When I Am Laid In Earth," before an intimate crowd that includes playwright Terrence McNally and marriage equality pioneer Edie Windsor.

"If there's intolerance and injustice being waged against people, we feel that," DiDonato, who has been an outspoken LGBT rights advocate for quite some time, tells NPR. "Because in the end, we're all in this together."

Backed by students in the Juilliard School's period-instrument ensemble Juilliard415, DiDonato said her performance was, in part, inspired by the memory of Mark Carson, who was fatally shot in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood in 2013 in what has since been deemed an anti-gay hate crime.

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