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American Aria: From Farm Boy to Opera Star
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0028647394, Hardcover)A funny thing happened to Sherrill Milnes along his way to becoming one of the best American Verdi baritones of the 1960s and '70s. In fact, dozens of funny things happened; he took careful note of them and poured them into an autobiography that will appeal to his many fans and anyone who relishes backstage opera gossip. The anecdotes are the best part of this book: they are abundant, sometimes mildly malicious, and often very funny--at least to those readers who are familiar with operatic plots, personalities, and music. For casual readers, Milnes explains why the story is funny--for example, why a tenor should have been executed after making a mistake in Puccini's Turandot. Milnes must be read skeptically when he calls himself shy--his ego is healthier than his voice--but he writes well of the anxieties of an opera star's life, particularly in discussing the vocal problems that hit him in the 1980s and that (whatever he may think) were never entirely cured. He is indignant about the Metropolitan Opera's failure to renew his contract in 1997. They could have been more sensitive, but he should have known that he had stopped singing reliably at the Metropolitan Opera level years before. The book has a useful discography and a list of his most notable performances. --Joe McLellan
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:52 -0400)
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