ENCINITAS — Mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin is a concert performer, composer and well-received author.
All of her talents will be on display in some fashion when she takes the stage at the Encinitas Library at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18. The performance will center on Rubin’s famous voice, of course. But she’ll also incorporate stories from her recently released autobiography, as well as other artistic ventures, into the performance.
“The first half of the performance will be opera, light classical,” Rubin said. “The second half will be a combination of musical theater, a song from an upcoming album I’m working on and a few excerpts from my new book.”
Whether through song or words, Rubin certainly has an interesting tale to tell. Blind since birth, her book “Do You Dream in Color? Insights From a Girl Without Sight” chronicles how she overcame adversity in her youth and later launched a career as an acclaimed opera singer.
One moment, in particular, prompted her to write the book: After a singing competition in New York City more than five years ago, one of the contest’s administrators approached her.
“I was expecting her to say that she liked my singing or what not,” Rubin said. “But instead she said ‘I have to admire you for having the courage to get up in the morning and to walk around New York.’ I thought, ‘I don’t want to be admired for everyday things like getting up in the morning.’ I want to be respected for my artistry. From then on, I wanted to dispel any mysteries or stereotypes (about blindness.)”
To that end, her book pulls readers into her world, where she has a complex relationship with color.
When singing, G-minor is a dark blue. G-major is a lighter, almost sea blue, Rubin explained.
“I always joke that I must have seen in my past life,” Rubin said. “I do have images of color in my head, and I think part of that is hearing people’s description of color.”
Although her story is unique, Rubin said she wrote the book to appeal to anyone that’s triumphed over hardship.
“I wanted this to be a universal story that anyone who’s struggling with something can identify with,” Rubin said.
When she isn’t writing, Rubin is working on a new album with her partner, who will accompany her on piano at the Encinitas Library.
“It will have a bit of a crossover appeal; it will have a classical feel, but be a bit more for mainstream audiences,” Rubin said, adding that the album could debut next fall.
“The title track is what it’s like to be a teenager and have all these unfortunate stereotypes put on you, and how to fight those and see your inner beauty past that.”
Tickets for the concert can be purchased at encinitasca.gov/concerts.