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An American Opera Star Shines in Britain

Joyce DiDonato is a young American mezzo soprano who has taken London by storm. She is appearing at the Royal Opera House as Rosina in Barber of Seville. DiDonato, who is from Kansas, admits that when she was a child, she cared little about opera -- her musical world revolved around Shaun Cassidy and Billy Joel.

But if she came to opera gradually, DiDonato has burst onto the scene in Europe, where American opera singers are often considered to be lacking the passion of the world's elite singers. DiDonato says she hopes to blend the American tradition of clinically perfect training with the feeling and zest of her European counterparts.

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Rob Gifford
Rob Gifford is the NPR foreign correspondent based in Shanghai.