Opera Singer Ryan Speedo Green's Unlikely Story To Be Featured At ERJCC, 4/23
Ryan Speedo Green rose from a tough upbringing amid the urban wastelands of southeastern Virginia to win a nationwide competition hosted by New York's Metropolitan Opera. Today he is a rising star, performing in Europe's major opera houses and at the Met (Colline in La bohème 2016), where the New York Times declared him "a show stopper." A bass-baritone, Green will make his Houston Grand Opera (HGO) debut as Osmin in Mozart's comedy The Abduction from the Seraglio, April 28-May 12. Daniel Bergner is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of the novel Moments of Favor and four books of nonfiction. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's, and the New York Times Book Review. His new book, Sing for Your Life, A Story of Race, Music, and Family, chronicles Green's unlikely, suspenseful, and powerfully emotional journey from solitary confinement to stardom.
The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center (the J) in collaboration with Houston Grand Opera will present Bergner and Green in conversation with HGO Assistant Artistic Director Paul Hopper Sunday, April 23, at 4 p.m., at the J's Kaplan Theatre, 5601 S. Braeswood. The program is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested by April 18 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-595-8162.
Born to poor parents and suffering a violent childhood, Green was placed in juvenile detention at the age of 12 as a last resort. Bergner takes readers on his path toward redemption, introducing us to an important and colorful cast of characters-including two teachers from his childhood who redirected his rage into music and his long-lost father-while shedding light on the enduring realities of race in America. Publisher's Weekly's starred review termed the book "gripping and inspiring" while Renée Fleming called it "absolutely riveting."