Fleming opens up to the world the ecstasies and pain of life as a professional singer. I wondered about this choice, until finishing the book, when I realized that the book is her long, careful, analytical look at herself. In the beginning of the book, Ms. When I read this book the first time, I was relieved. It's a very simply written, clear but fascinating insight into the profession, and the career trajectory of somone who has made it all the way to the top. It's interesting the different approaches she was talking about to that.
I enjoyed the first half of the book more, learning about the journey to becoming an opera singer -- from her upbringing to education to mentors, but the whole book was chock full of wonderful advice on following any passion. Of special meaning to me are her insights into the characters she plays, the difficulties she faces with rolls in operas I've heard and have yet to hear. I feel like I now understand why this art form has endured for hundreds of y Though I admittedly don't know much about opera, nor have I listened to many of Renee Fleming's recordings, this book was still a joy to read. For readers who are also singers - with some personal experience of training and a history of performance - this will be far more interesting than to non-singing fans of the soprano. Fleming's artistry is the proof of the soundness of her advice -- if you haven't heard her sing, tune in to the Met on Saturdays when she is there. The Inner Voice: A Book for Music Lovers Although The Inner Voice is a very interesting book for young singers, it is also an amazing reading for those who are not music experts and who appreciate the value of intelligent and sensitive writing. I was right and wrong: It is both things, but definitely much more candid and forthcoming than I anticipated.
She is a gifted singer and performer, but also an incredibly gifted writer. The Inner Voice is an autobiography of the soprano singer Renée Fleming. I appreciated the humility and humanity that went into the writing of this memoir. Fleming leaves us in no doubt as to how much grit goes into making a top singer. While I am an appreciator of opera and the branding of opera singers as the Olympic athletes of vocal music, I cannot call myself an aficionado, having been a pop, jazz, country singer my entire life.
It is part memoir, but mostly a memoir of her professional life. When my voice teacher offered to lend me a copy of this book, I took it reluctantly, assuming it would be a ghost-written celebrity puff piece. A wonderful memoir for anyone who loves classical music. I feel like I now understand why this art form has endured for hundreds of years. From struggling to get a career under way to dealing with her own personal Blessed with one of the most beautiful voices of her generation, soprano Renée Fleming is one of the most celebrated talents on today's music scene.
Renee isn't boastful or obnoxiously self-absorbed about it, but the book is very much focused on her and her particular experience in the opera world; she barely talks about conductors or her contemporaries in the biz. We are actually paid for the grief of leaving our families and friends. I really enjoyed The Inner Voice, which does triple duty as memoir, self-help, and career advice. The best thing about it is that Fleming is honest about the downsides and the failures she has faced, which makes all of us feel better about ourselves! From her youth as the child of two singing teachers through her years at Juilliard, from her struggles to establish her career to her international success, The Inner Voiceis a luminous, articulate, and candid self-portrait of a contemporary artist-and the most revelatory examination yet of the performing life. I wouldn't dare say I expect my life to turn out like Renee Fleming's, nor would I necessarily want that but moments of reading this book felt like my older self talking to me.
When I feel energized I also feel tense. I was surprised to learn that she wrote a book about her experiences as a burgeoning singer and was equally surprised to find that her writing was almost as engaging as her performances. Though I admittedly don't know much about opera, nor have I listened to many of Renee Fleming's recordings, this book was still a joy to read. I'm sure having Ann Patchett as a writing mentor had a lot to do with the ease and flow of the book. Looks like a book for me.
I do think, though, that her career advice transcends her particular niche. Often we put opera singers on a pedestal. All in all, she strikes a good balance between personal narrative and in-depth, almost dissective discussion of the technique, artistic development and logistics of being a professional singer. How am I supposed to reconcile those demands? It shares her musical upbringing, the development of her voice, discusses her education and opera career, and provides a glimpse into her personal life through the personification of her voice. That's not to say it isn't insightful for the up-and-coming singer because it undoubtedly is, but one can see that Renee was born into her career in a way many singers aren't. Alongside these passages that read a bit like a manual on vocal production, there is the career narrative. I took my son to see her in Der Rosenkavaliere at the Met in New York about 20 years ago, and I'll never forget it.
One of the reasons this book is so valuable is because she doesn't glorify the singer's life. She succeeds about half the time, and that makes her slim volume well worth reading. I understand Patchett worked closely with Renee Fleming while writing her opera-inspired novel, Bel Canto. A version of this review appeared on my blog,. Her articulate and candid book is the most revelatory examination yet of a performing life, a luminous self-portrait of a contemporary artist and an inspirational work for singers, listeners and music-lovers alike. This book inspired me but also made me reconsider the implications of pursuing a career in opera.
I don't know where she found the time, but I do believe that whatever she wants to do bad enough, she will find time to do it. I was right and wrong: It is both things, but definitely much more candid and forthcoming than I anticipated. Even today, having reached the very top of the operatic tree, she writes of feeling insecure and having anxiety attacks that can come close to making her cancel engagements. I changed my mind after reading the book. The countless hours of practice, the rejection, the self doubt, and all the auditions you have to go to before you get a chance to show what your made of. Her written voice comes through as warm, down-to-earth, self-aware and surprisingly privilege-aware.