Sing for your Life

Sing for your Life

A Story of Race, Music, and Family

Book - 2016
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A New York Time s bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book

A Washington Post Notable Book

A Publishers Weekly Book of the Year

As seen on CBS This Morning, NPR's Fresh Air , and People Magazine

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Library Journal Nonfiction Pick of September

The New York Times bestseller about a young black man's journey from violence and despair to the threshold of stardom. "A beautiful tribute to the power of good teachers."--Terry Gross, Fresh Air

"One of the most inspiring stories I've come across in a long time."--Pamela Paul , New York Times Book Review

Ryan Speedo Green had a tough upbringing in southeastern Virginia: his family lived in a trailer park and later a bullet-riddled house across the street from drug dealers. His father was absent; his mother was volatile and abusive.

At the age of twelve, Ryan was sent to Virginia's juvenile facility of last resort. He was placed in solitary confinement. He was uncontrollable, uncontainable, with little hope for the future.

In 2011, at the age of twenty-four, Ryan won a nationwide competition hosted by New York's Metropolitan Opera, beating out 1,200 other talented singers. Today, he is a rising star performing major roles at the Met and Europe's most prestigious opera houses.

SING FOR YOUR LIFE chronicles Ryan's suspenseful, racially charged and artistically intricate journey from solitary confinement to stardom. Daniel Bergner takes readers on Ryan's path toward redemption, introducing us to a cast of memorable characters--including the two teachers from his childhood who redirect his rage into music, and his long-lost father who finally reappears to hear Ryan sing. Bergner illuminates all that it takes--technically, creatively--to find and foster the beauty of the human voice. And Sing for Your Life sheds unique light on the enduring and complex realities of race in America.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Lee Boudreaux Books/Little, Brown and Company,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316300674
Branch Call Number: ANF 782.1092 BER
Characteristics: 311 pages ; 25 cm

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pokano
Oct 04, 2016

He had never killed anyone, but if his life continued to deteriorate, it wasn't out of the question. He was just 12. He was incarcerated, some of it in solitary confinement, for threatening his mother with a knife. Today, 18 years later, in an art form traditionally the province of white Europeans and Americans, this 6'5" black man is winning rave reviews for his Colline in the Met's La Boheme. Before that, he wowed the crowds and the critics in Vienna. This book, authored by a contributor to the NY Times, chronicles his difficult (an understatement) youth, his decision to avoid where he was heading, including stories about the people who helped him along the way, and the sheer hard work it took to make him a budding world class opera singer, particularly since he hadn't even known he had any talent for singing until high school. It's a riveting and thought-provoking book, well worth reading.

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