It is a sure sign of summer when the stack of books, bought with excitement and waiting on one's desk for time to read them, moves into the active reading environment.  My first one completed is Sharon Mabry's excellent The Performing Life published in 2012.  In her preface she said that that she did not want to write a "dry, academic book that would sit on the shelf", and indeed she did not do that.  It is a useful book filled with anecdotes and good advice.  I think I'm going to order a couple of copies for my young professionals who are putting toes into the chilly waters of the performing life. 

Her advice covers all the areas in which all voice teachers advise their students.  Prepare thoroughly for a performance; don't walk into a rehearsal expecting anyone to teach you your notes; languages other than English are far more important than most young singers think, and good English diction is equally important.  In addition her advice includes ways to think about finding what you're good at and doing that rather than chasing ideal sounds, lives, and so forth.  Learning when to open one's mouth and when to keep it firmly shut. Developing your support team -- on beyond your wonderful accompanist and most trusted voice teacher.  Balancing your life so that you actually can live it.  What to do if you find success.  All of these are topics that will arise in singers' lives.  Sharon Mabry's advice is both sound and fun to read. 

This is a terrific book.  Those of us who are old will be cheering "yes, yes, yes" while reading it.  Younger singers will be saying, "Oh, that's probably good advice!"  Here's hoping they all put it into practice.