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Samuel Ramey American Bass (Great Voices) Hardcover – May 31, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
went through to come out from under the shadow of Norman Trigle, the great bass who preceded him at the New York City Opera. Ramey's quotes are unusually candid and
the author's sense of humor shines through without sacrificing ny important details. The disc included makes a great addition to the biography and the illustrations by Amy Sarah Appleton show a firm artistic hand and the photo section is dazzling. All in all, a highly recommended biography.
This writer will never forget witnessing the final performance of the run of the series of "Rinaldo," at the Metropolitan, Ramey's 1984 debut at that theatre. First, the production, by Frank Corsaro, was marvellous, and the rest of the cast was peopled by the likes of Marilyn Horne, John Alexander, Benita Valente, and Edda Moser! We were all stunned at Ramey's entrance, made atop a chariot, singing with an agility that belied his big, glorious voice.
As the author of "Strange Child of Chaos: Norman Treigle" (2006), I was particularly interested in the sections of the book regarding the artist who was such a great influence on Ramey. (And I was particularly gratified that my work was acknowledged by Scovell.) And what a contrast between Treigle and Ramey: The former was dark, flamboyant, self-destructive (too much drink, tobacco, pills, gambling, and women), and impossible; a figure from Southern Gothic literature. The latter is healthy, "normal," and easy-going; a real boy from the mid-West.
But it was Ramey who went the distance, with a career in all the world's great theatres, dozens of recordings, and a happy private life. But the element that lifted the excellent to the profound was missing in Ramey, and was present in Treigle. That atmosphere of impending doom, of epic tragedy, of inescapable catastrophe, that Treigle emanated was inimitable. For this writer, this sense of exaltation has only been present, in our day, in two male singers, Treigle and Jon Vickers.Read more ›
While the book provides fascinating insights into the politics and personalities of the opera world, Ramey's story remains a quintessentially American tale: one in which a boy of humble mid-western roots perseveres... overcoming formidable obstacles to achieve fame and renown. You don't have to know or to love opera to love this book. And you certainly don't need to be and opera aficionado to appreciate the sound of Ramey's incredible, mellifluous voice on the accompanying CD.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liked the book. I had already ordered and read a biography of Sam written in French. The recording at the back of the book was defective. Read morePublished on June 24, 2013 by Carolyn L. Carlson
Obviously it is not mentioned in this book, but I find it a shame that the once great basso misused his voice by forsaking the Mozart, Rossini & Handel repertoire that served him... Read morePublished on July 6, 2011 by Ishkabibble
As a longtime fan of Sam Ramey, I thoroughly enjoyed this book which contains liberal quotes from the singer and many others who had a major impact on his career, such as his... Read morePublished on November 27, 2010 by Don9194
I am not a fan of the opera, but this book was given to me by a friend who is, and reading it could make me a fan. Read morePublished on November 4, 2010 by J Yomanski
As a midwesterner I am always fascinated by those of us who left small towns in the middle of the country and went on to become noted in their respective fields. Read morePublished on September 6, 2010 by Marie Lochman