Renée Fleming | Letting Desdemona Rock Out a Little

The New York Times

28 May 2010

Letting Desdemona Rock Out a Little

By Jon Pareles
“THERE’S a part of me you’ll never know,” Renée Fleming sings as she begins her pop album “Dark Hope,” in a voice her opera and lieder fans might not recognize. It’s two octaves below her renowned lyric soprano, with a lushly melancholy tone that’s closer to Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan than to Kathleen Battle or Sarah Brightman.

She revealed that voice in 2005 on “Haunted Heart,” her more-or-less jazz album. That was a collection of sparsely accompanied ballads, carefully sung and ultimately lugubrious (even Stevie Wonder’s “Ma Cherie Amour”). But with that plunge into her lower register, Ms. Fleming began to solve the longtime problems of opera singers’ pop crossovers.

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