Reclaiming Calliope

Freeing the Female Voice through Undomesticated Singing

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Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 16 May 2022

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Description

The practice and politics of the unfettered female voice--reclaiming your power through voice, song, and opera-inspired exercises.

For centuries, opera has used women’s voices to convey male stories. Within an art form dominated by men, the female voice is a means to an end: controlled, denatured, and crafted to carry words and intentions that belie the true depth and complexity of the female experience.

Here, author and opera singer Fides Krucker shows readers what it means to find--and use--our authentic voice, to sing wildly and uninhibited from the depths of our bodies and spirits. Part memoir, part radical vocal guide, and part feminist call to action, Reclaiming Calliope offers an intriguing look at the rarified world of opera, with fascinating behind-the-scenes details to which outsiders don’t typically have access. Through incisive critique, personal stories, and intriguing exposé, Krucker razes the male gaze that packaged characters like Carmen, Tosca, and La Traviota’s Violetta for viewer consumption--and radically envisions an empowered, new way of finding and fueling the authentic female voice.

Through a series of breathing and vocal prompts that anyone--not just singers--can do, Krucker helps readers reconnect to their authentic primal voices: she takes the reader inside her vocal studio to learn new methods of breath, voicework, and embodiment to uncover and access personal and social truths. Each chapter includes a theme-related exercise--an act of expression, release, self-discovery, or resistance--that guides readers to develop voices unbound from anyone else’s storytelling, boldly and without apology.
The practice and politics of the unfettered female voice--reclaiming your power through voice, song, and opera-inspired exercises.

For centuries, opera has used women’s voices to convey male stories...

A Note From the Publisher

For more information or to request a review copy, please contact: publicity@northatlanticbooks.com.

For more information or to request a review copy, please contact: publicity@northatlanticbooks.com.


Advance Praise

​​“Fides manages to combine an intensely personal narrative that includes intimate and family relationships with a deep knowledge of how our stories affect vocal presence, range, and the ability to assert ourselves whilst still communicating from the heart.… An essential contribution to the practice of voice within a holistic vision. Krucker’s courage is exemplary in shining a path towards recognition of the intrinsic value and uniqueness in every voice, beyond cultural and societal constraints.”

—KEVIN CRAWFORD, voice teacher; founding member Roy Hart Theatre; former MFA program director at Accademia dell’Arte, Arezzo; coauthor of Roy Hart


“With a consummate understanding of human anatomy and physiology and with immeasurable compassion for the body’s intuition, Fides plumbs the depths of the human voice, weaving its flesh and spirit together in order to unleash its true potential. This deep dive into the Siren call left me digging the Mermaid and brought tender tears to my eyes. Just listen. This is a love song to the human voice.”

—PAUL DE JONG, voice teacher and coach / cohead of coaching, Stratford Festival


“Krucker courageously and candidly shares knowledge hard-won by experience and deep, clear-eyed examination of the damage inflicted on the human voice, especially a woman’s voice, by society, cultural norms, and music (popular as well as classical) that have forced the voice into an ‘acceptable’ box devoid of integration with the whole self. Through personal stories, illuminative exercises, and raw truth, Reclaiming Calliope presents an engrossing invitation to self-discovery for singers, actors, and anyone interested in the voice.”

—GRACE ZANDARSKI, head of voice and text, associate professor adjunct at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale


“In language that is as imaginatively wrought as it is deeply intelligent, Fides Krucker creates an unforgettable reading experience for anyone who has ever felt the power of song. Fearless, committed, passionate, and wise, the author is utterly frank about her own life and experiences as a woman, mother, and successful professional singer. However, the very core of this richly varied book is her innovative approach to deeply visceral and authentic singing. Interleaving revelations of her own life with penetrating insights into iconic singers, she also, and most importantly, fully immerses her readers in her own challenging—but nurturing—voice classes.”

—THEO DOMBROWSKI, author, artist, and illustrator


“An utterly unique and ground-breaking exploration of voice. Weaving together personal, political, and historical anecdotes about singing, opera, and female agency, Krucker reminds us of the honesty of our bodies. You will fall in love with gravity and with the truth of the raw voice. You will fall in love with this book.”

—TESSA MCWATT, author of Shame on Me


“To understand the imbalances in our global ecology, we desperately need to understand women and their voices. Historically, women and voice are not spoken about from the lens of the body and, when they are, emotion is amputated. As a disabled woman, artist, somatic specialist, and advocate of intimate access in the arts and all sectors, I cannot tell you how dangerous that is to our health, and how refreshing it is to relate to the climactic discoveries that Krucker shares about women.”

—TRACI FOSTER, founder and artistic director, Listen to Dis’ Community Arts Organization; somatic artist, Fitzmaurice Voicework and Somatic Experiencing


“This remarkable book takes the reader into its exploration of voice as a means of recovering the wholeness of being human.… ‘Undomesticated singing’ becomes the means for rediscovery of the authentic self and, consequently, for the ability to live authentically in relation with others.… I defy anyone, whether male, female, or nonbinary, to read this book without undergoing their own journey of transformation. Reclaiming Calliope can help us all reclaim our full humanity and thereby be able to find the joy of true mutuality.”

—STEPHEN K. LEVINE, professor emeritus, York University; Paul Celan Professor of Philosophy and Poetics, European Graduate School; and author of Philosophy of Expressive Arts Therapy


“With a radical mission in a gentle tone, Fides weaves together elements of wellness that often stay apart—the nervous system, our anatomical components, and our most primal urges and desires…. This book is a personal and professional gem that explores and restores our individual and shared human landscape. There is no-body that won’t benefit from reading this.”

—JILL BODAK, M.OMSc., clinical osteopath, anatomy educator


“Reclaiming Calliope is an eloquent and practical gift for the beginner vocalist to the consummate singing professional. It is also an exciting read for those simply curious about the compelling life of a brave singer who has generously, extensively, and uniquely shared their ever-growing knowledge.”

—ERIKA BATDORF, MFA graduate program director, Department of Theatre, York University, Canada


“I believe there is no necessity in our world more fundamental than the need to support women through the journey of reclaiming their fully embodied voice—for therein lies a power that will help us all move

forward. Thank you, Krucker, for opening so generous a doorway to that possibility.”

—PHILIP SHEPHERD, author of Radical Wholeness and New Self, New World and coauthor of Deep Fitness


“Fides Krucker’s personal and prismatic reflection on womanhood, art, the voice, patriarchy, the body and history offers various brilliant methods of unshackling our most primal and most free selves…. It is a revelation, a free-wheeling compendium of insight and great depth.”

—PATRICIA ROZEMA, filmmaker, Into the Forest, Mansfield Park, Mouthpiece, and I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing


Reclaiming Calliope is both a finely wrought, intimate artistic memoir and a triumphant journal of a lifelong quest for the authentic, liberated female voice in face of historical and present day patriarchal disdain.” 

—Gabor Maté, MD, author of When The Body Says No

​​“Fides manages to combine an intensely personal narrative that includes intimate and family relationships with a deep knowledge of how our stories affect vocal presence, range, and the ability to...


Marketing Plan

Advance electronic galley outreach

Outreach to theater, art therapy, self-help media

Targeted review campaign

Author courses and speaking engagements 

Consumer-facing advertising



Advance electronic galley outreach

Outreach to theater, art therapy, self-help media

Targeted review campaign

Author courses and speaking engagements 

Consumer-facing advertising




Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781623177065
PRICE $19.95 (USD)

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