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Samuel Ramey American Bass (Great Voices) Hardcover – May 31, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Great Voices
  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Baskerville Publishers, Inc.; Great Voices Series 11 edition (May 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880909766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880909768
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Bornstein on June 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Having had the pleasure of hearing Samuel Ramey sing, I was delighted to learn that his biography was available. To learn about his midwest roots, his education and the journey that led him to become a one of opera's most important stars was fascinating. I suspect a young boy growing up in a small town in Kansas doesn't ever plan on standing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera - but this is a classic story of small town boy making good. Ms. Scovell's writing is lively and gives true insight into how a young artist makes his way in the world. And, having a CD included is a joy to an opera lover!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Samuel Ramey was one of the greatest basses in recent times. I had the privilege to hear him many times in the theater (NYCO , the MET and PARIS). This book gives us a glimpse of this great artist. You wind up really liking him and respecting him for all the hard work he did to active his greatness. It is also enlightening to read about his struggles (particularly with the MET) and realize not everything was handed to him even after he achieved fame. The book is supposed to come with a CD. My copy did not but that did not diminish the enjoyment I had reading the book.
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Format: Hardcover
A really well done narrative which makes the subject, an iconic singer, both interesting and human and provides a fascinating look at the making of a great career. I was particularly taken with the section dealing with the struggles Ramey
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this as a gift for my wife, who has been a Samuel Ramey fan forever. She loves it. Lots and Lots of pictures from his life. Child hood through this marriages. Highly recommend for a Ramey fan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We owe Jane Scovell a debt of gratitude for undertaking "Samuel Ramey: American Bass." There is no doubt that Ramey is one of the principal singers of our day, and Scovell has performed an estimable job of research and writing.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Scovell has written a compelling account of Sam Ramey's life and his extraordinary career in the rarefied world of Grand Opera.
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.
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