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Opera Singer Ryan Speedo Green Pulls From His Own Difficult Past To Channel Dramatic Roles08:48
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Ryan Speedo Green (Courtesy of Dario Acosta)
Ryan Speedo Green (Courtesy of Dario Acosta)

When Ryan Speedo Green was a boy in southeastern Virginia, he and his brother used to cower in their room when their parents fought viciously.

When he was in second grade, he was put in a special class for violent children.
When he was 12 — his father was long gone — Green threatened his mother and brother with a knife.

His mother had him put in juvenile detention. And there, he was often in solitary confinement.

Fast forward to this Saturday night. The 33-year-old Green will be on stage, singing bass-baritone at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

He joined All Things Considered to discuss his life — professional and personal. His story is laid bare in the book “Sing for Your Life," where he talks about how the blistering anger of his past is now a tool he uses in the present.

"Sing For Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family" by Daniel Bergner (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
"Sing For Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family" by Daniel Bergner (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

This segment aired on July 12, 2019.

Lisa Mullins Twitter Host, All Things Considered
Lisa Mullins is the voice of WBUR’s All Things Considered. She anchors the program, conducts interviews and reports from the field.

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