Opera's Shining Soprano Renée Fleming

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Opera superstar Renée Fleming, active at the Metropolitan Opera this season, will do a recital with Susan Graham at Carnegie Hall next month. A three-time Grammy winner, she was nominated this year for Best Classical Vocal Solo for Poèmes. The role of Blanche DuBois in Andre Previn's opera version of A Streetcar Named Desire was created for her. It will premiere this coming spring at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where Fleming is their first-ever Creative Consultant.

When she’s not singing on the most prestigious stages around the world, Fleming can be found mentoring vocal students. This year, she was featured on the HBO documentary "A Young Arts Masterclass."  She gives host Gilbert Kaplan an insider’s view into the world of opera:

 — How singing jazz in a small club affected her opera performance.

— How going on the stage allows her to become uninhibited.

— How she copes if the audience boos.

— What it was like to sing in the soundtrack for the film, "The Lord of the Rings."

— That forgetting some of her lines “happens to me all the time."

— Why she avoids “diva behavior.”

— Offers her theory on why the legendary Maria Callas lost her voice.

Playlist:

Erik Satie: Gymnopédie No.3. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano. Decca 289470290.

Alma Mahler: “Bei dir ist es Traut” & “Laue Sommernacht.” Renée Fleming, soprano; Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano. Deutsche Grammophon 289 469 584-2.

Jules Massenet: Manon, “Je marche sur tous les chemins…” (“Gavotte”). English Chamber Orchestra. Jeffrey Tate. Renée Fleming, soprano. Decca 000102402.

George Crumb: Ancient Voices of Children, “Todas las tardes en Granada, todas las tardes se muere un niño.” Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Arthur Weisberg. Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano; Michael Dash, boy soprano. Nonesuch 79149.

Vincenzo Bellini: La sonnambula [excerpt], “Ah! …se una volta sola” & “Ah! non credea mirarti.” Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus. Patrick Summers. Renée Fleming, soprano. Decca 467101.

Brad Mehldau: “When it Rains” [excerpt]. Brad Mehldau, piano. Warner Brothers 48114.

Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs, No. 3, Beim Schlafengehn. Houston Symphony Orchestra. Christoph Eschenbach. Renée Fleming, soprano. RCA Victor Red Seal 68539.

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Comments [2]

It's true that the role of Blanche Dubois was created for Renée Fleming, but it will not premiere at Chicago's Lyric Opera in the Spring. The opera was commissioned by and premiered at San Francisco Opera 15 years ago. I attended the second performance, with Miss Fleming as Blanche and Rodney Gilfry as Stanley K.

Mar. 01 2013 10:30 PM
Elise A. Bloustein

Thank you for the lovely interview and lovely songs. Renee's voice is enchanting.

Dec. 30 2012 09:58 PM

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