A Singer’s Way
Paperback, 400 pages, $39.95
Mid September, 2023 release
Rosa is a woman who grew up in the bush of southern Queensland. At
school she discovered she could sing and it became her abiding passion.
While this book tells about her life and career, she couldn’t do it on
her own, so her story is as much about the people she loved and who
loved her back, and looked out for her.
Her determination and talent brings stardom, but at a cost. Those
blessed with an aura of success, like any of us, are plagued by
loneliness, illness and loss. But life for Rosa and the people she loves
and works with is never dull; every day seems to bring a new challenge
to be embraced.
‘He’d been drinking at the Regatta …and next thing, he skolled a glass,
leapt up on the parapet, did a handstand slowly, and hand walked the
whole length of the balcony. A hand misplaced by an inch and he was
Riding Scrimple in the valley shortly after sunrise felt the only
place where she belonged, the only place she could sing whenever or
whatever she wanted … as a little girl she discovered that singing
crushed some of the awful dreams.’
It was like she had to be a vocal dancer or athlete. Keep to the
beat; keep in tune! How was it done? Surely it must be better than what
was going on? She had this aural vision of these people around her
groaning or moaning.’
All she could do was suspend judgement, her world and any other place
or person, for this minute, hour, day … She stood on the little
terrace, her eyes moving from him to the view of a village, hillsides,
and the blues, ochres, sages of sky and landscape.
‘The way you sang that long last song was more than brilliant; it
said something to me about the power of communication through music I’ve
‘Your memory or your truth, he said, can change depending on how you are living the moment of your recollection’
Antony Jeffrey has crafted an extraordinary narrative that draws
in the music and opera aficionado as well as anyone who is captivated by
a terrific ‘difficult to put down’ read. I was fascinated from
beginning to end and I’m sure many readers will identify with the
struggles of young singers and musicians, which Antony has so vividly
articulated in these pages. Highly recommended!
From Lyndon Terracini, AM, singer, festival director and former long-time Artistic Director, Opera Australia
Transforming Passion is a BIG book, a sweeping saga of an
exceptional woman’s life and loves, and very compelling reading. Full of
twists and turns and all brought safely home to a surprising ending.
From Sandra Levy, AO, former head of drama at Southern Star, Director of
Television, ABC and CEO Australian Film Radio and TV School
Antony Jeffrey’s impressive fiction of the career course of a
young opera singer is riveting reading. It maintains our interest
throughout as she conquers her personal challenges and navigates the
stormy landscape of international music and opera. Speaking from
experience, it is an insight into the disciplined lifestyle of a
dedicated artist, holding our interest towards a stunning conclusion.
From Geoffrey Chard AM, one of Australia’s most renowned opera singers, with a stellar international career behind him.
While the author tells us Transforming Passion is a work of
fiction, it is the best possible insight into the challenging, sometimes
terrifying life of a professional singer. The language of the opera
world may be unfamiliar to most of us, but you won’t be able to put it
From Lorraine Landau, psychotherapist, London
FROM READERS OF TRANSFORMING PASSION
Rosa’s story is … the universal struggle to balance all elements
of life and to often fail. Pressure on women to conform to a particular
maternal standard of care towards their children will often add to their
sense of failure and conflict. Her somewhat nomadic life is also the
catalyst for life changes. This aspect of the novel allows for an
interesting tone to the narrative particularly the Welsh and Tasmanian
settings. [Through his] expertise in music, Antony is able to so
eloquently use [music] as a major theme in his novel.
From Anne Dunn Snape, Balmain, Sydney
In his novel Transforming Passion Antony Jeffrey chronicles the
story of naive opera buff Alex and his vocally gifted girlfriend on
their journey from parochial 1970s Brisbane to the revered music world
of London. A revealing behind-the-scenes spotlight on the world of grand
opera, the book also explores the tensions between the demands of an
international stage career, and those of family, at times with
devastating results. The human story and the unexpected revelations towards the end will ensure its appeal to the general reader and opera
From Inese Curtois, Birchgrove, Sydney