One of the most celebrated talents in today's music scene, soprano Renée Fleming brings a consummately beautiful voice, striking interpretive talents, and compelling artistry to bear on performances that have captivated audiences in opera houses and recital halls throughout the world. In The Inner Voicea book that is the story of her own artistic development and the “autobiography” of her voicethis great performer presents a unique and privileged look at the making of a singer and offers hard-won, practical advice to aspiring performance artists everywhere. From her youth as the child of two singing teachers through her years at Juilliard, from her struggles to establish her career to her international success, The Inner Voice is a luminous, articulate, and candid self-portrait of a contemporary artistand the most revelatory examination yet of the performing life.
Classical-music insiders are not the only audience for this book, a kind of professional autobiography that mixes Letters to a Young Singer-style technical advice (“Taking a vague vocal concept from another singer is a little bit like sinking your life’s savings into a stock tip you overhear at a cocktail party”) with day-in-the-life bits that show how difficult it is to attain—and sustain—the life of a superstar. Occasional touches of writerly flair suggest the hand of Fleming’s friend and collaborator Ann Patchett, but some of the best passages (such as a moment-by-moment account of singing the role of Violetta in a performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Met) have a no-nonsense appeal that fits the image of Fleming as an unpretentious but deeply ambitious artist, driven forward by a sense of inadequacy yet buoyed by a keen awareness of her gifts.