Renée Fleming - Guest Artist Program Notes cover

Renée Fleming - Guest Artist Program Notes


Tonight's performance features one of the greatest operatic sopranos of all time, the legendary Renée Fleming. She makes an exclusive Orange County appearance in this exceptional concert with the Pacific Symphony. Tonight's program offers selections from Richard Strauss’s hauntingly beautiful Four Last Songs, as well as beloved popular favorites from the Broadway stage and the wonderful world of opera.
This is Part 2 of the Program Notes for tonight's concert. You'll be automatically linked to the next at the end.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

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Renée Fleming

(c)Decca/Andrew Eccles

Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, President Obama awarded her America’s highest honor for an individual artist, the National Medal of Arts.

Winner of the 2013 Best Classical Vocal Grammy Award, she has sung at momentous occasions around the world, from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to performances in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games.

In 2012, she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II. In 2014 she became the first classical singer ever to perform U.S. National Anthem at the Super Bowl; and the same year, she celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in a televised concert at the Brandenburg Gate.

An earlier distinction came in 2008 when Fleming became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

Fleming has appeared in virtually all of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. This year, her concert schedule has taken her to Boston, New York, Stockholm, London, Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Mexico City and Buenos Aires.

In August, she sang with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Saratoga, N.Y. In the fall, she will tour to San Francisco, Toronto, Los Angeles and Miami.

The year finishes with her appearance as the Marschallin in a new production of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. She will sing the role again at the Metropolitan Opera in the spring.

(c)Decca/Andrew Eccles

Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, Fleming has sung not only with Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli, but also with Elton John, Paul Simon, Sting, Lou Reed, Josh Groban and Joan Baez.

Fleming has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series and Live from Lincoln Center.

She has been a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, and she famously sang the “Top Ten” list on The Late Show with David Letterman.

In 2015, she made her Broadway debut as an actress in the comedy Living on Love, for which she was nominated for a Drama League Award. In 2013, she joined with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to present American Voices, a concert and three-day festival celebrating the best American singing in all genres. The festival was the subject of a Great Performances documentary on PBS.

Fleming won her fourth Grammy Award for her album Poèmes. Her most recent album, Berg: Lyric Suite; Wellesz: Sonnets, recorded with the Emerson String Quartet, was released in September by Decca.

Her first-ever holiday album, Christmas in New York, was released in 2014, and was the inspiration for a special on PBS.

Recipient of 14 Grammy nominations to date, she has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to an album of indie rock covers, Dark Hope, the jazz album Haunted Heart and the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.


In March, Fleming was appointed artistic advisor-at-large for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In 2010, Fleming was named the first-ever creative consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she recently curated the creation of Bel Canto, a world premiere opera based on Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel. The production will be telecast on PBS Great Performances in the coming season.

Fleming is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Board of Sing for Hope and the Artistic Advisory Board of the Polyphony Foundation.

Among her awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize and honorary doctorates from Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School.

Renée Fleming appears by arrangement with IMG Artists, 7 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 Ms. Fleming is an exclusive recording artist for Decca and Mercury Records (UK). Ms. Fleming's jewelry is by Ann Ziff for Tamsen Z.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.