Renée Fleming | Lyric, Merit School partnership aims to foster new voices

Chicago Tribune

12 September 2011

Lyric, Merit School partnership aims to foster new voices

Lyric, Merit School partnership aims to foster new voices

By John von Rhein

Nine months ago, when Lyric Opera named Renee Fleming to its newly created post of creative consultant, the superstar soprano excitedly outlined a broad agenda of plans she had for the company, including creating new projects, expanding the Lyric's education program and collaborating with other Chicago arts organizations and music schools.

Now the famed singer, who also serves an advisory position as a member of the Lyric board, has unveiled an ambitious project that will encompass all those objectives.

And her excitement is, if anything, even more pronounced.

With Fleming as the project's spearhead, Lyric has entered into a wide-ranging collaboration with Chicago's Merit School of Music, a nationally recognized community music school based in the city's Near West Side neighborhood, that will bring a major expansion of the school's vocal program, with Lyric sharing its extensive resources with Merit students throughout the school year.

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