The magnificent mezzo was toasting the end of Enchanted Isle at the Metropolitan Opera when news reached her that a six year-old boy she had helped a few days ago in a Montessori school had been killed with a methadone dose by his drug-addict mother.
Joyce has posted the following tribute on facebook and twitter:
A few days ago I had the extreme privilege and joy to attend an afternoon at the South Bronx Montessori Charter School. I met 28 amazing children, 5-6 years old, who had all fallen in love with opera via their heroic and passionate teacher, Anne Dopkins. Watching various clips from the Metropolitan Opera’s Enchanted Island, they each started to discover a new and magical world. It was 3 of the most inspiring hours of my life, to interact with these amazing children and witness their intelligence, humor, enthusiasm, passion and imagination first-hand.
Tragically, yesterday, Carlos Rios – one of these astonishing, miraculous little human beings – was killed. My heart weeps for him and for his family, for those precious classmates and for those heroic, overworked teachers. However, my heart is also uplifted, knowing that for a precious few hours during each day at his school, he was respected, encouraged, challenged, taught, and exposed to things far beyond his wildest imagination.
May his family and friends eventually find peace, and may we all continue to live each moment to the fullest – driven to share the joy and love of music and the arts with everyone we meet. We all need it so desperately.
Rest in peace, beautiful, miraculous Carlos.