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In this “heartrending, passionate, and surprisingly humorous account of the conjunction between art and death” (Andrew Solomon, New York Times bestselling author), acclaimed opera singer Charity Tillemann-Dick recounts her remarkable journey from struggling to draw a single breath to singing at the most prestigious venues in the world after receiving not one but two double lung transplants.
Charity Tillemann-Dick was a vivacious young American soprano studying at the celebrated Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest when she received devastating news: her lungs were failing, her heart was three and a half sizes too big, and she would die within five years. Medical experts advised Charity to abandon her musical dreams, but if her time was running out, she wanted to spend it doing what she loved.
In just three years, she endured two double lung transplants and had to slowly learn to breathe, walk, talk, eat, and sing again. With new lungs and fierce determination, she eventually fell in love, rebuilt her career, and reclaimed her life. More than a decade after her diagnosis, she has a chart-topping album, performs around the globe, and is a leading voice for organ donation.
Weaving Charity’s extraordinary tale of triumph with those of opera’s greatest heroines, The Encore illuminates the indomitable human spirit and is “an uplifting story of overcoming significant odds to fulfill a dream” (Kirkus Reviews).