Any opera singer can harmoniously agree that Renée Fleming is one of the most inspirational singers of all time. How about we all agree on that in the key of Bb? No auto tune please. I had the pleasure of seeing her in concert. Twice.
First, was in Gainesville, Florida, I believe 2004. I was an undergrad and she was absolutely breathtaking. Walking out on stage in her black feathered Oscar de la Renta gown. Sigh… And then she opened her mouth and sang Mozart’s Alleluia. And I instantly loved her.
Second, was in Tampa, Florida, where I was working for Opera Tampa and I had the opportunity to meet her. I know?! I got to hug her. Thank her. And ask her to sign my copy of her book “The Inner Voice”
It says “To Ashley, Best Regards: Renée Fleming”
How wonderful. I will have your best regards Ms. Fleming! She even posed with me.
That’s why we love her. Oh hey, that’s me and my gal pal Renée. Circa 2010.
Both experiences were so humbling. And both also included R. Strauss. Her favorite composer. Renée BFF fact: Anytime she gives a recital she always tries to incorporate some Strauss.
Now let’s fast forward to 2012 and lo and behold Ms. Fleming has made an HBO documentary called Renée Fleming: A YoungArts Master Class and my heart is lifted once again. She takes four singers and gives them the opportunity of a lifetime. And all four are so grateful. Renée ‘s poise, artistry, her ability to captivate an audience, and her articulation when in an interview are just a few of her qualities that have brought her all her success that she deserves and I hope to one day be able to give back a fraction of what she has done for all of us.
She’s singing at the Met this season. I’ve yet to see her in an operatic production. She is performing one of her favorite roles Desdemona. What productions do you plan to see at the Met this season?
I think I should go practice….