I have loved opera since being introduced to it by an early boyfriend when I was 17, and have been intrigued by the world of those who choose to make opera singing their career. So when this book was offered on NetGalley I immediately downloaded it. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Four long-time friends, all opera singers, commit to supporting each other through thick and thin and particularly on their journey to the top. Stephanie, Henry, Jennifer, and John name themselves The Dolci Quattro. We meet the four friends as they are performing in Leoncavallo’s La Boheme. a lesser known version of La Boheme, for a second-tier opera company. They hope this will give them the necessary exposure and allow them to rise to a first-tier company.
Often singers have to work multiple jobs in order to pay for a voice teacher, to help develop the voice and a voice coach, to focus on specific performance music. And Pere Momus, owner of Café Momus in Manhattan, a gathering place for connoisseurs of opera knew this and so he hired aspiring artists pursuing their dreams, as waiters and waitresses.
An opera singer’s voice is his/her only thing on offer but it is a fragile instrument that needs to be cared for. It is easily affected and disturbed by emotion. Concentration is lost and ways of coping, particularly on a performance day, have to be found. The Dolci Quattro understood this and shared everything and when one was disturbed they pulled together to help.
The offer of steady employment to Henry in a job as an assistant professor to teach voice and to produce school operas causes much talk and deliberation before a decision is made. Will he accept or will he follow his dreams?
We are offered an insight into the life of an opera singer and recognise how hard one must work to stay on track. Thank you, Yorker Keith, for a very knowledgeable and entertaining glimpse into the life and world of aspiring opera singers.