Stand Up Straight and Sing!

Stand Up Straight and Sing 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 an

  • Title: Stand Up Straight and Sing!
  • Author: Jessye Norman
  • ISBN: 9780544003408
  • Page: 258
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Stand Up Straight and Sing!

    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, GeorgiOne 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.

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      Published :2019-03-04T10:01:29+00:00

    One thought on “Stand Up Straight and Sing!

    1. Coenraad

      Jessye Norman has long been a favourite singer of mine. Her warm, enveloping voice carries music to my ears that resonates deep within me: Wagner, Strauss, and much more. Her memoir proves that her heart is as warm and enveloping as her voice. She speaks of important moments in her career, of inspirational people in her life, of the importance of family and culture and heritage. Her kind heart allows her to share some negative stories, but she mentions no names in these instances! She writes mov [...]

    2. Correen

      I was delighted to discover that Jessye Norman had written a memoir, and was not disappointed by what she had to say. She uses language well so the book has a pleasant sound to it. She is a perfectionist and a strong achiever causing me to expect perfection in her book. She might have achieved that with a tough editor who would have corrected her punctuation. For anyone who appreciates opera, this book tells a wonderful story of not just Jessye but of the people and culture of that art. I consid [...]

    3. James

      I had the pleasure to meet Ms. Norman at a Q&A and book signing in my town when this book first came out. She was wonderful to chat with and I was really looking forward to reading her book. It was a pretty quick read for me but I have mixed feelings. Although I do feel like I got to know her on a more personal level, I felt like she took many opportunities to convince the reader that she wasn't a typical diva. And while that may be true based on her very detailed descriptions of her very si [...]

    4. LAPL Reads

      A true diva is a distinguished female opera singer who strives for the best in her own work and expects the same from everyone with whom she works in order to create a marvelous experience for an audience. Jessye Norman is the full embodiment of a diva on stage and off, always striving for the best in life and art. In the introduction James Levine, operatic and symphonic conductor, verifies that this is not a ghost written autobiography, but is definitely in the author’s own words because no o [...]

    5. Melinda

      "If you send up a weather vane or put your thumb up in the air every time you want to do something different, to find out what people are going to think about it, you're going to limit yourself. That's a very strange way to live."JESSYE NORMAN is quite a woman with an imposing life, attitude and career. Reading her memoir and journey you feel as if your sitting alongside her sipping tea with your newfound bestie. Not a surprise this uber talented woman possesses a gift of writing. Norman discuss [...]

    6. Mike

      The great opera singer's autobiography is really just a series of anecdotes, told in no real order. This is probably par for the course for a celebrity memoir, though. Most of the anecdotes are quite good, but only rarely did I get a sense of the person behind the persona.

    7. Lois

      Couldn't be more disheartened at this book. The intention is noble and worthy, but the execution was so poor, it's almost abysmal. I'm upset because of all the 20th century singers, she is by far one of the most important singers to recount of her life in terms of music history, performance life, current events, etc, but so much of the book was so fixated in her own point of view and opinion. Of course it's her autobiography, but I think she legitimately lost her train of thoughts here and there [...]

    8. Elena Greco

      I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable book written by a remarkable woman. I've always admired Ms. Norman, not only for her enormous vocal gift, but for her dignity and obvious joie de vivre. I gained respect for her in reading this book about her life and the principles she clearly lives by. This book let us know that her life is a testament to the power of conviction and of honoring ourselves as capable of whatever we commit to. She clearly had parents who knew how to do that job, something [...]

    9. Monika

      Originally posted on my blog, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall:American opera star and recitalist Jessye Norman is one of the most celebrated and highly respected singers in the world. In her upcoming memoir Stand and Straight and Sing!, she shares what it was like to grow up in the segregated South and how she made her way to stages across the globe.Norman's conversational tone is intimate and remarkably kind, even when she shares a story that could portray a colleague in an unflattering light. S [...]

    10. Sherri

      Going into this book all I knew about Jessye Norman was she has a beautiful powerful voice, that she sung the Marseillaise for the French bicentennial and that she was from Georgia. Jessye Norman was and still is a civil rights activist, from a family of activists in a place and time that made this dangerous. She recounts incidents when she faced racism head-on and refused to give in to hate and even managed non-violent resistance Though I've never stayed at the Ritz Carlton I'm not going to sta [...]

    11. Vicki Kondelik

      Jessye Norman, one of today’s greatest opera singers, tells the story of her life, from her childhood in the segregated South to her triumphs on the world’s opera stages. Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia, and raised in a close-knit community with a loving family. Her mother and grandmother taught her to sing spirituals, and she sang in the church choir from a very early age. She writes about her involvement with the Civil Rights Movement and her experiences of racism, including two incide [...]

    12. Sidne

      Jessye Norman one of our country's best opera singers pens her life story in this wonderful memoir that is full of passion, commitment, hard works, racism and integrity. Ms. Jessye talks about her childhood life in segregated Augusta Georgia, her grand parents,her beloved parents and singing in church. The books has a prelude, postlude and opa and interlude which is a tribute to the great Marian Anderson whom Ms. Jessye admired. The chapters begin with a gospel text and closes with an art song m [...]

    13. Lynn Attison

      I am not going to go into a full review, rather some comments. A little bit about me, I had a health event that caused me to have a series of strokes. I had to learn to do all kinds of things anew. Reading a book was one of those things. I CAN read again, but sometimes it is slow going. Therefore, I am now very choosy about what I read. Books need to be well written and engrossing. I mean, why should I waste me time on "fluff", given that I am lucky enough to be able to read again?! This book is [...]

    14. BMR, MSW, LSW

      I knew next to nothing about Ms. Norman prior to picking up her memoir while scanning the biography section.This book was so beautifully written, with so many great life lessons, I have put it on my To Buy list.Ms. Norman is a gift to our world. The beauty she shows in her humanity to others, the amount of WORK she puts into every role and every performance; it really brought home how opera is so much more than belting out songs in foreign languages, wearing elaborate costumes, and under subtitl [...]

    15. Hazel

      This was a choice for the St. Peter's book group. Ms. Norman's life is quite interesting, and I like hearing of many of her thoughts and experiences, but she DOES need an editor!! The book is longer than necessary, with a good deal of repetition (I don't think we need to hear quite so many times about her requirements to care for her voice, or her emphasis on rehearsal and preparation--both interesting background insights, but she mentions this repeatedly) and her structure is very rambling. The [...]

    16. Jim Cabaj

      Fans of Jessye Norman and the opera will sing lots of praises once they read this incredible autobiography. I was amazed of the stories Jessye shared as a child growing up to very loving family in a very politically turbulent south. Her telling of civil rights stories she be told to children across the country in school.I loved her candid stories about those in the musical world. Her outstanding collaborations and those behind the scenes. Her voice is a instrument that needs to be tuned and prot [...]

    17. Naomi

      I am not a big fan of opera, but after learning about Jessye Norman and watching her performances on YouTube, I may have changed my mind. I had an impression that Jessye Norman is a very outspoken person. Reading her autobiography proves just that. She's not afraid to speak what's on her mind and to stand up for what she believes in or to fight for what she's passionate about. I agree that being an opera singer, rather, an artist is just like any other profession that does not only require talen [...]

    18. Teri

      I finally finished!!I have been reading this since June.It was a book club selection. I had read 35%(kindle book) at the time of our meeting.It seemed to take forever to make any progress. I did put it down for a long period of time and decided to hurry and finish so I could move on. I had never heard of Jessye Norman. She is a quite famous opera singer. Her voice is beautiful and powerful. I followed the star rating and 2 is "it's ok" and that is what I thought. There was no real organization t [...]

    19. Eric Peterson

      I don't think this book is ghostwritten, and if it is, the ghoster did a great job of faking a unique voice. Norman, one of the most amazing voices in opera we've had over the last few decades, has had an unusual career, simply because she's always chosen to do what she's comfortable with and intrigued by, regardless of expectations of voice type (or of race). She speaks strongly from her vantage point of an African-American woman from Georgia who grew up under Jim Crow, and the casual and overt [...]

    20. Shawn

      If I have an idol among singers, Jessye Norman is it, and I was hoping for more from this memoir. It pays significant attention to her childhood and the importance of her family in her development, and I like the fact that her response to the racism she's experienced and her relationship to the civil rights movement act as something of a backbone for what is, finally, a long string of anecdotes. Many of these are very interesting to any fan, but there's almost nothing here about her personal lif [...]

    21. Carolyn

      It was a fascinating read on a well loved and exceptional opera singer whose early background belies the international star she became and as with many celebrities from middle class backgrounds; she celebrated her family of origin as well. She praised the basic moral values she was taught that became her touchstone for the many years of training that preceded her rise to fame. 'Balm in Gilead' was one of my favorites and was a starter course on the beauty of the operatic voice. 'Stand Up Straigh [...]

    22. Alix

      An interview with Jessye Norman on the PBS Newshour made me read this book. I have heard some recordings of Ms Norman and have seen her in US presidential inauguration ceremonies, but not following opera or classical music, I knew little about her. Stand Up Straight and Sing is about loving music, people, and new experiences. Thank you, Ms Norman for sharing your memoir. I truly enjoyed this book and was brought to tears a few times as well as to smiles - surprising both me and my seat mate on a [...]

    23. Hannah Green

      I'm going to acknowledge right away that the structure and pacing of this book is all over the place. And I really don't care. This is the exact perfect book that I needed right now in November of 2016 as an American, as an artist, and as a human being. Every chapter gave me chills. I choked back tears more than any other book I've ever read. I think literally every American artist should read this book, along with anyone who likes opera, has ever faced adversity, or who just like hearing amazin [...]

    24. Dora

      There is no doubt that Jessye Norman is an increible woman, especially once you have heard her sing. Her writing is a bit over-the-top, meaning she uses LOTS of wonderfully, fabulously, absolutely marvelous adverbs, although I do believe it's authentic. Most likely each of her experiences and the people she meets are in that moment to her an absolute anomaly. She also jumps around quite a bit and often leaves the reader wondering what a specific comment was about.

    25. Karla

      I'd give this memoir 3.5 stars. Jessye Norman wrote about her life and influences in an easygoing, conversational manner. I enjoyed reading about her early life in Georgia and how her time in Berlin helped to create the woman she is today. I'm an opera novice, but I definitely plan to seek out some of her past televised performances.

    26. Michael

      As an artist and musician, I learned much from Ms. Norman's memoir. I particularly enjoyed the first few chapters where she described her childhood. Her parents are remarkable people and I am impressed by the sense of self that she had from such a young age. Towards the end, I did grow a little weary, but overall I found much to love about this book.

    27. Margretta Seashore

      Marvelous bookJesseye Norman writes with passion, clarity and incredible modesty about her inspiring and marvelous career. She chose to use her extraordinary voice with passion, wisdom and grace. An inspiring read.

    28. Cassandra

      I won this book from First Reads for free.I love the style and inspiration that Jesse has given this book. The pages are filled with gifts for the readers to enjoy and take from, in order to share in their life journey.

    29. Sonja Williams

      This is a well written memoir about the life of a world class and influential artist. While it offers interesting details about Norman's singing life, there are few details about her personal life or inner dilemmas. Still it is a good read about Norman's world and musical choices.

    30. Marshall

      Didn't hold my attention long enough to finish. I wanted more about her professional experiences. Not what I had hoped for.

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