Mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin performs on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on Monday in a program that defines her life. Blind since birth, she fell in love with music early in childhood and focused on the belief that a professional singing career was not a mere dream but a true possibility.
Her latest recording -- "Do You Dream in Color?" -- is also the title of her book for young adults, "Do You Dream in Color?: Insights from a Girl without Sight." Composer Bruce Adolphe based the album on a poem Laurie wrote to describe her daily experiences and encounters with men and women wondering how she manages so well on her own. Not only does she apply her own makeup, but she also designs and makes jewelry.
"When we put the recording together, I knew I had to include six songs by Joaquin Rodrigo because he was also blind, although most people who love his music don't know that," Rubin said. "I chose some songs by Faure because of their rich colors. A very important selection was 'The Mountains of Jerusalem' composed for me by my friend Noam Sivan.
"He and I first performed them at the Canandaigua Lake Music Festival. They're very theatrical with a feeling of longing and they're written in Hebrew. Being Jewish is an important part of my life, so they have great meaning for me.
|Where: Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW|
|When: 6 p.m. Monday|
"For the Millennium Stage concert, I'll go a little more pop and mainstream with Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah,' some things from musical theater, folk songs and a few things we associate with Josh Grobin or John Denver."
Kenny Loggins, a family friend and favorite entertainer of her parents, was one of Rubin's earliest supporters. He encouraged her to ski in snow, an accomplishment that led her to water skiing, both sports not apt to be pursued by a blind child.
"At the Kennedy Center, I'll be accompanied by Jennifer Taira," she said. "Right now, she and I are working together on my next recording. I want the audience to enjoy my music and discover that it's important to know who you are. Even if people try to sidetrack you, you must be true to yourself and go after your dreams."