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Stand Up Straight and Sing!: A Memoir [Format Kindle]

Jessye Norman

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Revue de presse

"This is an amazing voice, a catalogue of all that is virtuous in singing." -- The New York Times

"The immensity of her voice struck like a thunderbolt…It was like an eruption of primal power." -- The Jerusalem Post

"This is a terrific read for anyone who loves opera and classical music, but it is also the story of a compelling and uniquely American journey." –

"Norman is a storyteller, and Stand Up Straight and Sing! unfolds the life of a conscientious artist who prominently meshes with the history of her times." –Santa Barbara Independent

"[It] is this memoir’s life-affirming richness that most readers will take away – its hard-won wisdom and magnanimity." –The Augusta Chronicle

"The best parts of Ms. Norman's book are her lyrical evocations of her early life in Augusta, Ga. She builds a rich portrait of a childhood firmly grounded by family, church and community." –The Wall Street Journal

"Raised in Augusta, Georgia, a child of the Jim Crow and civil rights era, Grammy–winning, international opera singer Norman offers a broad and global perspective on life, the arts, and spirituality. Encouraged at an early age, she recalls playing on her grandmother’s pedal organ, listening to her mother and grandmother sing spirituals, and taking to heart her mother’s admonition to "stand up straight" while reciting and singing. She recalls a long line of ancestors and the tight-knit community who encouraged her to go beyond the limitations of race and sex. Surrounded by music, from gospel to jazz to classical, and inspired by Marian Anderson, she started singing in church. Her talent was later nurtured at Howard University, and she went on to a career singing at the Berlin Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. Looking back on her life, she marvels at her long journey from the segregated South to a dazzling career in the arts. Norman recalls memorable performances and observations on the power of beautiful music to "enter the spirit and simply live there." Her inspiring memoir includes lyrics of her favorite songs." — Booklist

This is an amazing voice, a catalogue of all that is virtuous in singing." -- The New York Times

"The immensity of her voice struck like a thunderbolt…It was like an eruption of primal power." -- The Jerusalem Post

Présentation de l'éditeur

Grammy Award-winning Jessye Norman is a once-in-a-generation star, a singer whose astonishing talent, technical expertise and incomparable stage presence have made her one of the world’s foremost classical performers of modern times. The possessor of a gloriously rich and powerful voice with a uniquely wide vocal range, Jessye Norman has sought to redefine the role of a soprano and is renowned as an unparalleled modern interpreter of the operatic repertory, from Wagner to Strauss. Her genius has been appreciated the world over, earning her plaudits including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and membership of the Royal Academy of Music. Stand Up Straight and Sing! tells the extraordinary story of Jessye’s journey from small-town America to the opera houses of London, Paris, Berlin, and New York, in a career defined by astonishing longevity and relentless dedication. This is the story of the woman behind the voice, and is an absolute must-read for any fans of opera, as well as those wishing to gain an insight into the strength and determination that lie at the heart of this remarkable success story.

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24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A true American Icon 4 avril 2014
Par Grady Harp - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Jessye Norman is one of the greatest singers this country has produced. This reviewer recalls an evening in the 1960s when she substituted for an ailing colleague at a college auditorium in Los Angeles. Not knowing her name the concert was almost avoided, but what an evening of revelation that was. This graceful large lady flowed out onto the stage in a gown with a piano keyboard pattern, tossed off the usual few arias and songs and then broke into some intimate French cabaret songs and in one fell swoop rose to stardom in the audience's hearts. That stage presence coupled with a ravishing beautiful soprano voice carried her into the tough roles like Judith in Bluebeard's Castle, Sieglinde, Ariadne, Alceste, and Leonore.

Now we have her memoir and it is not surprising that she writes exceedingly well. This book is not just about Jessye Norman: this memoir is about the journey through racism and all that followed the civil rights movement. Her life is as impressive as her vocal gifts and for anyone who has ever had the privilege of being in the opera house or concert hall when Jessye Norman performs, this book is a must read. Grady Harp, April 14
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Jessye Norman's STAND UP STRAIGHT AND SING! shows that your gifts will make room for you 7 avril 2014
Par Cyrus Webb - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I can't tell you how much I am inspired by Jessye Norman's life that is chronicled in her book STAND UP STRAIGHT AND SING!

She is able to take us not just into the path that led her to the greatness she is now enjoying, but acknowledges those who were inspirational to her along the way. It all began in the home. It was a place where she was encouraged to not just thrive but to be the best of herself.

At a time when it was expected that girls would be born, go through schooling then get married with children... Jessye writes this: "I craved bigger. And I found it hard,even at an early age, to fit my mind, body, and spirit into the too-tiny box carved out for girls and women of my generation." With the example of her mother, she was able to look past the hurt and discrimination that stopped many and focused on her gifts---and it was those gifts that would take her exactly where she wanted to go.

She had the privilege of singing for dignitaries like Rosa Park and Presidents but she also became an example to other women (and even men) what was possible for them with hard work, dedication and faith. She was not going to be defined by others. Jessye Norman writes: "As has always been the case, I sing the music of my heart."

Deeply moving and inspiring, Jessye Norman's STAND UP STRAIGHT AND SING! shows that your gifts will make room for you.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A gracious memoir 21 avril 2014
Par Experienced Editor - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
The structure of Jessye Norman's memoir parallels a musical program, arranged from "Prelude" to "Postlude" and "Coda." The midpoint is "Interlude," a tribute to the great Marian Anderson. Lyrics from spirituals, art songs, and other pieces from Miss Norman's wide repertoire begin and end each chapter, binding the content together in the way that chorales unify a Bach cantata or spirituals interconnect the parts of Michael Tippett's A Child of Our Time.

Each chapter has its own theme and could stand alone. Miss Norman begins by describing the foundations from which her life philosophy grew: the diligence and vision of her grandparents; the dignity and resilience maintained by her parents during the Jim Crow era; and her own early years in Augusta, Georgia. Subsequent chapters discuss places she has been, people she has known, experiences she has had. Of course music is the constant throughout. I particularly appreciated learning from her thoughts on singing as craft and art form.

The tone is positive throughout the book. Even the chapter "Racism as It Lives and Breathes" avoids bitterness. She relates incidents but does not dwell on them. Instead, she demonstrates a sense of self-worth that refuses to be defined by someone else's prejudices. To her credit, she does not identify the offenders, although she freely names the people she has admired and respected in her life.

So why did I give this memoir only four stars? I couldn't help wishing an editor had been more alert to the repetition. In her enthusiasm for her art, the author repeatedly describes working with her colleagues as "a joy" or "a privilege" or "a pleasure." She is frequently "thrilled." Music is "beautiful" and "wonderful." The same word may appear many times on a page, sometimes more than once in a single paragraph. I have no doubt that these expressions are sincere. Still, the power of a word is weakened when that word is used over and over and over again. Trimming the redundancies would have made a stronger text.

After reading only a few chapters of this memoir, I found my self thinking that the word to best describe Miss Norman is "gracious." Her narrative voice is generous, confident, yet humble. It was fitting, then, to come across this sentence near the end of the book: "I think that growing older in grace and with grace has a great deal to do with one's attitude toward life's progression ..." Despite my quibble with the editing, I recommend this interesting and gracious memoir.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read if you're a Jessye Norman fan! 3 mai 2014
Par Janice Sims - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I grew up listening to Ms Norman singing opera and spirituals. I never had the opportunity of hearing her live, only seeing her on TV, most of the time on PBS. But I've been a fan for many years. When Amazon Vine gave me the option of reading her autobiography I jumped on it. She begins by talking (and I say this because the book has a very conversational tone) about her childhood in Augusta, Georgia and of her early influences: her family, her church and some kind teachers who had sound advice about developing her God-given talent. Then she discusses her education and the voice teachers who guided her. What I enjoyed the most was her descriptions performing all over the world. And also how much of an activist she was and still is. I didn't know that about her. If you're looking for a gossipy autobiography, you won't find it here. Ms Norman keeps it professional, focusing on her career and nothing salacious at all. She relates her story in a very positive manner, which I thought was very refreshing!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fanastic 6 mai 2014
Par Debra - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Fanastic memoir of her life. I've always admired Jessye Norman and the book has furthered my love for her and her accomplishments. FANTASTIC READ!
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