Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family (Biography Paperback)

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Item: 9780316300636


Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family (Biography Paperback)
By Daniel Bergner

The touching, triumphant story of a young black man’s journey from violence and despair to one of the world’s most elite artistic institutions, as if The Blind Side were set in the world of opera.

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 24, 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 at 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 redirected his rage into music, and his long-lost father who finally reappeared to hear Ryan sing. Bergner illuminates all that it takes 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.

“Deeply moving… This is a book of great compassion that traces the contours of a single remarkable life and captures that most inexplicable thing – the human will itself.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“A beautiful tribute to the power of good teachers.” (Terry Gross, Fresh Air)

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books (September 27, 2016)
  • Dimensions: 5.55” W x 1.05” D x 8.25” H

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