By Lily Guerrero
The sun is high, the pool is open, and you’ve applied the necessary sunscreen. All you need now is a great book to pass the time. Luckily, here at Sexi Soprano, we’ve scoured Goodreads for some worthy books to share with our readers. Take a look at our list and see if there’s anything you want to bring to the beach or read on the plane to your summer YAP program!
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria RilkeThis short collection of letters is essential for any artist who has doubted the quality of their work or questioned their creative abilities. Reginald Snell beautifully translates these letters into easy-to-read masterpieces, and you’ll probably finish the whole book in one sitting!
Master Singers: Advice from the Stage by Donald George and Lucy Mauro
I like to think of this book as the 21st century version of Jerome Hines’ iconic Great Singers on Great Singing. Famous singers like Joyce DiDonato, Thomas Hampson, Jonas Kaufmann, Stephanie Blythe, and Alan Held share their advice on vocal technique, maintaining a career, and life on the road.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
If you prefer fiction novels, Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven) writes a touching account of a humble young Spanish boy studying classical guitar who becomes an American rock icon. His guitar lessons will have you laughing as he struggles to learn the complexities of being a musician, and his remarkable journey will remind you of your joy for music.
The Inner Voice by Renée Fleming
Fleming is a household name in opera, but the story of her ascent to superstardom is lesser known to those who have seen her on the opera stage. Young singers will especially enjoy the first half of the biography in which Fleming describes her trials as she navigates the waters of the industry.
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
What does it mean to be an artist? How can one open herself more fully to welcome creativity into her life? Where does artistry fall on the hierarchy of importance? This thought-provoking guide is a difficult read, but if you can get through it, the self-enlightenment one reaps from Cameron’s lessons can be life-altering.
Fortissimo: Backstage at the Opera with Sacred Monsters and Young Singers by William Murray
If you saw The Audition, Susan Froemke’s masterful documentary on the behind the scenes of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, you will love this backstage pass to Lyric Opera of Chicago’s young artist program during the 2003-2004 season. Many now-familiar names make appearances in the book, such as Nicole Cabell, Quinn Kelsey, and Erin Wall. Murray takes us on the tough journey of what it takes to be an opera singer and the tribulations young singers face at the important turning point in their career.
Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva by Deborah Voigt
Many people think of international opera singers as high-maintenance shrews, but Debbie Voigt shatters that stereotype with her spectacular biography that is both honest and humorous. By the end of the book, you’ll feel like Debbie is a close friend that took you out for coffee and shared her life story.
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
This novel is a wonderful mix of mystery, history, and operatic drama as a legendary soprano looks for the source of a hidden secret from her past. She is forced to choose between a path of infamous stardom or sworn secrecy.