Renée Fleming | People’s Diva Sets Her Course

The New York Times

27 January 2012

People’s Diva Sets Her Course

People’s Diva Sets Her Course


During a stretch of several months in 2010 the soprano Renée Fleming made what looked to be some startling shifts in her lustrous career.

First, that spring, she released an indie-rock recording, “Dark Hope.” This was no mere crossover project, she insisted, but an attempt to visit a “parallel universe” of pop music, as she put it in the album’s booklet notes.

Then, that fall, she parted ways, amicably from all reports, with her longtime publicist, Mary Lou Falcone, a respected veteran in the field. In interviews Ms. Fleming said that she would probably sing fewer staged opera productions in favor of concerts and develop special projects, largely organizing them herself.

Finally, in December, she accepted a five-year appointment as the first creative consultant at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, telling The New York Times that she wanted to have a deeper impact on opera than just performing. “What can I do to make it better and relevant and sustainable?” she said. “Maybe nothing, but I’d love to try.

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