Laurie Rubin, a mezzo-soprano who is set to return today to the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage in Washington, says often it's other people who can't see beyond her blindness.
“People are so terrified to hire me. They are afraid I will fall into the orchestra pit,” says Rubin, who will perform songs from her recent album and read from her memoir, “Do You Dream in Color? Insights From a Girl Without Sight,” set to be released Tuesday.
Rubin, 33, who has been blind since birth, learned that lesson acutely at Oberlin College, when she discovered she had not been accepted into an opera program because the director feared she would not learn the music as quickly as others.
Rubin's voice teacher at the time told her: “You've got to be better than the others. You've got to have something so compelling about your singing that they would justify going out of their way and working past their own fears to hire you.”
Since graduating, Rubin has performed at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, the Parcol Auditorium della Musica in Rome and the Lincoln Center.