American Aria Encore

Overview

What's it like to grow up on a small farm in Illinois only to find yourself, some 20 years later, performing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House? And then to travel the world, singing in historic theaters from La Scala in Milan to Vienna, Paris, London, and beyond? Former Met star Sherrill Milnes tells all in this completely updated, first-time-in-paperback edition of his very successful biography.

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Overview

What's it like to grow up on a small farm in Illinois only to find yourself, some 20 years later, performing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House? And then to travel the world, singing in historic theaters from La Scala in Milan to Vienna, Paris, London, and beyond? Former Met star Sherrill Milnes tells all in this completely updated, first-time-in-paperback edition of his very successful biography.

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Editorial Reviews

Peggy Constantine
Milnes points out...his story has a happy ending — unlike the Verdi operas.
The New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
Milnes was considered the successor of such famous American Verdi baritones as Lawrence Tibbett and Leonard Warren. Tall, handsome, and blessed with a smooth legato and a voice of remarkable beauty, he was in demand all over the world throughout the 1970s. Born in Downers Grove, IL, he grew up working on the family farm--singing while he drove a tractor or milked the cows. The story of his journey from the farm to the great opera stages of the world should be more compelling than it is here, but Milnes lacks the gift of storytelling that could invigorate the wonder and drama inherent in such a life. Still, there are the expected backstage anecdotes, many involving famous conductors and singers, and he is touchingly honest about the demands of performing and discusses both the vocal difficulties he experienced in the 1980s and his painful break with the Metropolitan Opera. -- Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga County Public Library, Syracuse, New York
-- William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. Public Library, FL
Peggy Constantine
[Milnes] points out...his story has a happy ending -- unlike the Verdi operas. -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Autobiographical fluff for opera aficionados interested in knowing a bit—-but not too much—-about the life of one of America's popular baritones. Just as baritones never win the woman in operas, they rarely get the attention afforded tenors. Who has ever heard of a Three Baritones concert? Milnes' autobiography attempts to right that wrong regarding his own life. He begins with his experiences as a farm boy outside Chicago. Milnes was a relative latecomer to serious vocal music study. He began in high school, although he'd been studying violin and singing in his mother's church choir since elementary school. By his college years, it was clear that music also lay in Milnes' future. He auditioned for parts in regional opera groups, such as Boris Goldovsky's Opera Theatre, and gradually made his way to the Metropolitan Opera, where he sang regularly for just over 30 years. During that period, which included appearances in operas around the world and an extensive recital schedule, Milnes sang with many of the best, including Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo, and Beverly Sills. Unfortunately, though, this meandering book is rather short on details. Meandering how? A page about the teenage Milnes heading off to a brothel is followed by several paragraphs on the trials of having a "girl's" first name. As for the absent details, his two failed marriages are dismissed in a we-grew-apart sentence or two. Comments on colleagues are fairly superficial and do little to shed light on the world behind the opera curtain. The author has included a performance chronology of his debuts and key performances, as well as a discography. What could have been Wagnerian in scope endsup instead as the literary equivalent of a Top 40 tune.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574671605
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.84 (d)

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