One of America's most admired and decorated artists tells her amazing story, from her childhood in the South to the world's greatest stages.
Jessye Norman is not only one of the world's most admired and beloved singers, she is an American icon whose life story is as moving and dramatic as the great operatic roles she has performed on stage.
Born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, nurtured in a close family and tight-knit community centered around the church, she studied the piano and sang the songs of her childhood, not dreaming that this passion for music might lead to her life's profession.
In Stand Up Straight and Sing!, Jessye Norman recalls in rich detail the strong women who were her role models, from her ancestors to family friends, relatives, and teachers. She hails the importance of her parents in her early learning and experiences in the arts. And she describes coming face-to-face with racism, not just as a child living in the segregated South, but also as an adult out and about in the world.
She speaks of the many who have inspired her and taught her essential life lessons. A special interlude on her key relationship with the pioneering African American singer Marian Anderson reveals the lifelong support that this great predecessor provided through her example of dignity and grace at all times.
The story of one woman?s astonishing life, Stand Up Straight And Sing! is not just for lovers of music, but for everyone.
Jessye Norman is not only one of the world?s most admired and beloved opera stars?she is an American icon whose life story is as moving and inspiring as the fictional plot triumphs she sang onstage.
Born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, a descendant of many generations of hardworking slave and free ancestors, she grew up amid the challenges of Jim Crow racism with the civil rights movement just beginning to awaken. Nurtured by a close family and tight-knit community centered on the local church, Jessye sang songs and spirituals constantly, never dreaming that it might lead to a career. Only when she watched a documentary about the legendary Marian Anderson did she first realize that singing could be a profession. Decades later, after a meteoric rise at the Berlin Opera, a long-delayed debut at the Metropolitan Opera, and forays into spirituals, blues, jazz, and other roots music, she has become one of America?s cultural treasures. Stand Up Straight and Sing! is an inspiring woman?s account of an astonishing life.
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