I met the magnificent Jessye Norman at the British Library in London yesterday. It was in a series they are hosting about American Studies. She was there promoting her new book and also to tell stories and anecdotes about her life.
Not only did she speak about her magnificent operatic career - one of the finest Wagnerian Dramatic soprano's ever - she also spoke of her experiences of American Apartheid.
Her life and career were full of obstacles, yet she would never accept these limitations.
I asked her to sign my copy of the book - but I asked her to write something inspirational for when I am struggling in this turbulent music industry.
Here is what she wrote:
"Work Hard! Singing is a pleasure, a joy and an honour!"
I love that the first thing she writes is "Work hard!" Singing may appear to be effortless to some people, but only because they have put many hours of work in to achieve that result. And when you are struggling - work hard. When you are celebrating - work hard. But never forget to enjoy the journey.
I feel so inspired right now!
Jennifer Coleman is a soprano who works as a classical singer and vocal coach. Available for performances across the UK and internationally.