Renée Fleming

Soprano

Artistic Advisor-at-Large, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Creative Consultant, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Biography

One of the most beloved and celebrated singers of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony in 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist.

Winner of the 2013 Grammy Award (her fourth) for Best Classical Vocal Solo, she brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014, as the first classical artist ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. As a musical statesman, Renée has sung at numerous prestigious occasions, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to performances in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. In 2014, she sang in the televised concert at the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2012, in an historic first, she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II.

A ground-breaking distinction came in 2008 when Renée became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala. In January 2009, Renée was featured in the televised We Are One: The Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial for President Obama. She has also performed for the United States Supreme Court and, in 2009, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s “Velvet Revolution” at the invitation of Václav Havel.

This spring, Renée made her Broadway musical debut in a major revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, for which she earned a Tony Award nomination. Last year, she brought her acclaimed portrayal of the Marschallin in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera, in a new production by director Robert Carsen. A DVD of that performance was subsequently released by Decca. Her current recital and concert schedule spans the globe, including Barcelona, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, London, Helsinki, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

This fall, Decca will release Renee Fleming: Broadway, a new album of great musical theater songs from the 1920’s to the present day. In a rare double-header for a classical singer, Renée was featured on the soundtracks of two Best Picture and Best Soundtrack nominees at the 2018 Academy awards, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and The Shape of Water, which ultimately won both prizes, as well as the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Renée will be heard as the singing voice of Roxane, played by Julianne Moore, in the upcoming film of Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel Bel Canto.Read more

 

Recent News

Reviews

“The Beautiful Voice soared, swelled and glistened at the Kennedy Center on Saturday night. Renee Fleming, the soprano possessed of this sobriquet, gave a recital at the Concert Hall, courtesy of the Washington Performing Arts Society, to a large and appreciative crowd; she brought her A-game, and everyone was happy…Fleming has been America’s reigning diva for more than a decade now…on Saturday [she] offered some of the shining freshness that grabbed everyone’s attention when she was just coming onto the scene: gleaming high notes arcing downwards like wires of gold.”

Anne Midgette

Washington Post

“Renée Fleming is a true diva du jour. Her sumptuous soprano, dazzling technique and glamorous persona make her the complete package. Resplendently gowned, she cut an elegant figure at her Schubert Club recital Thursday at the Ordway. But she was utterly natural in the way she addressed the audience with eager enthusiasm about the program…Fleming unleashed her luxurious voice in an over-the-top rendering of the death scene from Umberto Giordano’s Fedora. Especially thrilling was ‘The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God,’ a cycle that jazz musician Brad Mehldau wrote for Fleming using poems by Rainer Maria Rilke…she sang the challenging music with emotional commitment. Equally successful was ‘Jane Grey’ an Arnold Schoenberg song about the nine-day queen of England. Fleming embraced this post-Romantic monologue as a great dramatic scene and told a deeply felt story. This was also true of three songs by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, which seemed particularly suited to her. She poured her heart into them, bringing some exquisite floated pianissimos expressively to bear.”

William Randall Beard

St. Paul Star Tribune

More Reviews

“She came, she sang, she conquered: Soprano Renée Fleming triumphed at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra gala concert on Saturday night at Powell Hall. Fleming has presence and glamour (enhanced by her spectacular form-fitting strapless violet dress, with a floor-sweeping black tulle stole, diamond necklace and big hair), and made the audience feel like old friends. Most of all, she was in excellent voice…She sang [‘Song to the Moon,’ from Dvorák’s opera Rusalka] ravishingly, her voice like rose gold… her final number, ‘O mio babbino caro,’ from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, was sung flawlessly, and made the perfect ending to the evening.”

Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post Dispatch

“Renée Fleming has always made very particular and personal choices of operatic roles. Over the years, the managers of the Metropolitan Opera, fully appreciative of Ms. Fleming’s vocal artistry and star power, have been ready to accommodate her. The company has mounted house premiere productions of three strikingly diverse operas — Carlisle Floyd’s ‘Susannah,’ Bellini’s ‘Pirata’ and Handel’s ‘Rodelinda’ — specifically for Ms. Fleming. On Monday night the Met obliged Ms. Fleming with another house premiere, Rossini’s ‘Armida,’ in a fanciful production by the director Mary Zimmerman. In requesting this fantastical, infrequently heard 1817 work, which, with two intermissions, lasted nearly four hours, Ms. Fleming was hardly playing it safe. Armida is an alluring, conniving sorceress, the niece of the cagey King of Damascus during the crusades. The role is a tour de force for a soprano who can combine alluring long-spun lyrical singing with dazzling, sometimes demonic, coloratura flights. … This was Ms. Fleming’s show, and she was impressive over all. She first sang the role at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Italy, in 1993, a performance recorded live for a Sony release. In 1996 she triumphed as Armida in a concert performance with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Eve Queler. … ‘Armida’ belongs at the Met. And the company has the right star in place.”

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Featured Discography

X