Virginia Woolf & The Hours: Joyce DiDonato, Ruth Franklin, and Bill Goldstein

Wed. Nov 9, 2022 6:30pm - 7:30pm EST
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In November the Library and the Metropolitan Opera both open major shows inspired by Virginia Woolf. Dive deep into the exhibition and the opera in one extraordinary evening of readings, performance, and conversation.

Virginia WoolfThe New York Public Library’s Virginia Woolf: a Modern Mind provides an intimate view of the boundary-pushing author’s life and creative process through materials drawn entirely from the Library’s holdings, which houses one of the most important collections of her writings in the world. At the Metropolitan Opera, The Hours adapts Michael Cunningham’s novel and the film of the same name for a world-premiere production written by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Kevin Puts. Come to the Library to explore both shows—and maybe get a little preview of each! Featuring:

  • Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano and Virginia Woolf in The Hours

  • Dimitri Dover, pianist

  • Ruth Franklin, author and critic

  • Bill Goldstein, author of The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, and the Year That Changed Literature.

  • Sydney Mancasola, soprano

Presented in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera.

To join the event in-person | Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on the NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register! If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL's YouTube channel.


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Joyce DiDonato headshot, photograph by Simon PaulyKansas-born mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is one of opera’s most popular and versatile artists, having sung to great acclaim the world over and earning the 2018 Olivier Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. She has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards, winning for her solo albums Diva, Divo in 2012, Joyce and Tony in 2016, and Songplay in 2020. She was the 2007 recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Artist Award and made her Met debut in 2005 as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. Since then, she has appeared in more than 100 Met performances of 13 roles, including Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito, Adalgisa in Norma, Elena in La Donna del Lago, Sycorax in The Enchanted Island, Isolier in Le Comte Ory, and the title roles of AgrippinaCendrillonLa Cenerentola, and Maria Stuarda. To date, she has appeared in four Met premieres, seven new productions, and nine Live in HD cinema transmissions. She returns during the 2022–2023 season to appear as Virginia Woolf in the world-premiere staging of Kevin Puts’s The Hours. In recent seasons, she has also appeared at the Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala, Paris Opera, Teatro Real de Madrid, and Covent Garden, as well as at the Salzburg and Baden-Baden Festivals, and she has performed in concert with many of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles.

Dimitri Dover, courtesy Dimitri DoverDimitri Dover joined the music staff of The Metropolitan Opera in 2016. A longtime New York resident, he has performed a broad spectrum of repertoire as soloist and collaborator, most recently in venues such as New York's Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Zankel Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Koch Theater, Symphony Space, and Park Avenue Armory, and in series such as American Opera Projects, Brooklyn Art Song Society, Chelsea Music Festival, Cutting Edge Concerts, Joy in Singing, Met Opera Rising Stars, and The Song Continues. Dimitri has performed, in the presence of the composer, the works of Thomas Adès, Valerie Coleman, Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, Nico Muhly, André Previn, Shulamit Ran, Kaija Saariaho, and Chris Theofanidis, among many others. He holds degrees from Harvard University, Peabody Conservatory, and The Juilliard School (DMA), where he has also served as guest coach, staff pianist, and Collaborative Piano department coordinator. He is also a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

Ruth Franklin headshot, photograph by Anthony DelMundoRuth Franklin is a book critic and former editor at The New Republic. Her first biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography about and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2016, a Time magazine top nonfiction book of 2016, and a “best book of 2016” by The Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, and others. Franklin’s work appears in many publications, including The New YorkerThe New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Review of Books, and Harper’s. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in biography, a Cullman Fellowship at The New York Public Library, a Leon Levy Fellowship in biography, and the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism. Her first book, A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction, was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Bill Goldstein, photograph by Bill HayesBill Goldstein reviews books and interviews authors for NBC's Weekend Today in New York, and was the founding editor of The New York Times books website. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Goldstein received a PhD in English from the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is writing a biography of Larry Kramer, to be published by Crown, and worked on the book as a 2019–2020 fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. His book, The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, and the Year that Changed Literature, was published in 2017.

Sydney Mancasola, photograph by Coline JourdanaSoprano Sydney Mancasola is quickly establishing herself as one of the most engaging singing actresses of her generation. Since 2016, she has been a member of the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt, where her roles have included Gilda in Rigoletto, Musetta in La Bohème, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, among others. This season, Sydney returns to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise the role of Pamina in the Julie Taymor production of The Magic Flute, as well as covering the role of Laura Brown for the world premiere production of Kevin Puts’s The Hours, directed by Phelim McDermott. Recent performances include Titania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Des Moines Metro Opera and Eurydice in Orpheus in der Unterwelt at the Komische Oper Berlin. Other operatic highlights: Violetta in La Traviata at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the title role of Manon in Cologne, and Musetta and Gilda at English National Opera. She has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Santa Fe Symphony, among others.


Patrons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at LIVE from NYPL events.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.


In-Person | Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs.

Livestream | Captions and a transcript will be provided. Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template.


Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email or use this Gmail template.

For all other questions and inquiries, please email or use this Gmail template.

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LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.

Joyce DiDonato © Simon Pauly

Courtesy Dimitri Dover

Ruth Franklin © Anthony DelMundo

Bill Goldstein © Bill Hayes

Sydney Mancasola © Coline Jourdana

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Venue Details
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Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 476 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10018