Renée Fleming | Renée Tours China and Taiwan

Renée Tours China and Taiwan

28 May 2013

Renée Tours China and Taiwan

Photo: Renée with students of the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, where she gave a master class sponsored by the charitable First Initiative Foundation

Renée kicked off the month of May with a tour of China and Taiwan, accompanied by pianist Hartmut Höll. Sold-out houses and ovations greeted her in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taipei, and Renée was thrilled to see that there is a young and growing audience for classical music in China. She offered a diverse program that included Handel oratorio arias, songs by Debussy, Strauss, and Canteloube, American musical theater classics, and Italian opera arias. Special events along the way included master classes in Hong Kong, Shanghai and and Guangzhou, a gala dinner sponsored by the First Initiative Foundation at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Hong Kong, as well as a reception in Renée's honor with American Ambassador Gary Locke and his wife Mona at their residence in Beijing. Renée was also honored to be made a Professor H.C. at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. When Renée's flight to Guangzhou was cancelled, it appeared that students scheduled for a master class there would be disappointed; but Renée arranged to hear them backstage the following day at the spectacular new Guangzhou Opera House, shortly before her performance. Singing in the remarkable Zaha Hadid building was just one of many high points of the tour for Renée, who noted that the eager, adventurous audience is being matched by a wealth of architecturally distinctive new performance venues.