Renée Fleming - Kudos

Recital Tour, December 2009

Baltimore Sun December 18, 2009
“[I]n trademark fashion, not only lavishing her luscious tone on the melodic lines, but conveying all of the character’s inner turmoil with mesmerizing expressive power. Her delivery of the final, gently rising line was meltingly beautiful…”
-Tim Smith

The Independent December 17, 2009
“Renée Fleming shares with a handful of other contemporary artists the distinction of achieving sounds as pure as the purest tones of the most exquisite instruments. Her voice is as sweet as the flute, as expressive as the violin, and as capable of dark and earthy textures as the reeds and brass. The broad and extremely ambitious program at the Granada last week allowed Fleming to explore the full range of her vocal orchestra, and expressed the current thinking of an unusually gifted scholar and intellectual, someone who can hold her own with the major composers who write for her and the great maestros…”
-Charles Donelan

Santa Barbara News-Press December 12, 2009
“In classical music, opinions vary widely according to mileage, biases and other factors. But some generalized, consensus opinions prevail, such as the opinion that soprano Renée Fleming exists toward the highest echelon of living vocalists. How do we love Ms. Fleming? We could count numerous ways after taking in her rapturous, deep and down to earth performance at The Granada on Wednesday…We need more Renée Flemings in the world, but we’re grateful to have at least one.”
-Joseph Woodard

San Jose Mercury News December 7, 2009
“Her voice is like an abundance of fresh roses. The listener, breathing in its fragrance, can’t escape the sumptuousness, the physicality of the voice. It’s a perfect match, say, for the rarified and mystical songs of French composer Olivier Messiaen, which grow lusciously ephemeral when given the Fleming treatment…Fleming continues, voraciously, to expand her artistry…she rarely fails to bring just the right coloration to whatever dramatic situation she finds herself in. But she makes her erudition accessible. Wrap that up with her glamour, her drop-dead gowns, her girl-next-door demeanor, and you’ve got the ideal diva package…”
-Richard Scheinin

San Francisco Classical Voice December 7, 2009
“Renée Fleming’s time has come — not just as an engaging and candid personality, which she certainly is, nor as a beautiful singer, which she always has been, but rather as an artist. There was a new depth to her singing, a level of commitment and passion… The recital ended as surprisingly as it had begun, with a sultry, low-voiced rendition of jazz great Blossom Dearie’s Touch the Hand of Love. The soprano, who got her start in jazz, retains her ability to sing American ballads with nary a trace of operatic affectation. What a wonderful ending to perhaps the finest recital Renée Fleming has ever presented here.”
-Jason Victor Serinus

MusicalCriticism.com December 7, 2009
“Renée Fleming is one of the most accomplished artists of today's musical world. Gifted with an expressive voice and a charismatic personality, she masters all the genres of musical performance – from opera to recitals. This latest concert at Zellerbach Hall, for the CalPerformances season, demonstrated once more what an intelligent performer she is…Fleming showed the complexity of her musical exploration. Yet, it was with Strauss that Fleming left no doubt of her immense expressive range nor of her precise technique. The outbursts of seduction that made these Strauss songs scandalous during their first performance, as Fleming reminded the audience, were truly brought to life: each single note of her interpretation was a masterpiece, each nuance was portrayed. My personal highlight was Freundliche Vision, in which she conveyed a tremendous level of intimacy and intensity…Both rational and instinctive, intense and precise: these are the characteristics of the art of Fleming. With this latest appearance on the West Coast, this performer proved once again that she is able to make her singing come alive, to transform her voice into a powerful instrument of communication. With her warm stage presence and engaging acting talents, Fleming remains one of the most complete artists of her generation.”
-Marina Romani

The Seattle Times December 6, 2009
“If you weren't already in love with [Fleming] when you arrived…then you definitely left wrapped around her finger… Fleming's vocal style is instantly recognizable. Every note her soprano caresses is unmistakably hers. The Massenet aria highlighted the lustrous tone she can achieve: a molten shimmering that somehow pierces even as it soothes — ideal for a siren song intended to lure Cleopatra's slaves to suicide…”
-Sumi Hahn

The Globe and Mail December 2, 2009
“The five songs by Richard Strauss that opened the second half were the highlight of Fleming’s program: fervent, varied in delivery, their words placed and dramatized, with soaring lines in which she could unleash the full glory of her sound…For a moment I even forgot that human beings normally communicate by speech: That’s how completely (and naturally) Fleming inhabits her voice, her artistry.”
-Elissa Poole

Der Rosenkavalier, Metropolitan Opera, October 2009

Financial Times.com October 21, 2009
“She managed the crucial, melancholic ending of Act One with finesse...”
-Martin Bernheimer

Bloomberg.com October 16, 2009
“Fleming is poignant…Hers is now a profound, at times even disturbing portrait of love and loss...”
-Zinta Lundborg

The New York Times October 15, 2009
“Ms. Fleming and Ms. Graham sang splendidly over all. In ways that matter their performances were richer and more affecting…Ms. Fleming’s vocally captivating performance was daringly subtle. You are pulled in by the expressive nuances of her singing and the multiple meanings she uncovers in the character’s sadly wise words. You will probably not find a better-acted Marschallin, and not just during the foolproof dramatic moments, like the Marschallin’s monologue on the inexorable passage of time. Even during the scene in which the princess is entertained by the Italian Tenor…it was touching to see this astute Marschallin so taken out of herself for a moment, enthralled by the music…It is good to have these fine artists back together in the Strauss favorite.”
-Anthony Tommasini

Associated Press October 14, 2009
“Fleming’s plush soprano is a natural fit for the role of the Marschallin…Even more than when she first undertook the role in the house nine years ago, Fleming imbued her singing with a simple nobility that made her Act 1 monologue deeply affecting....”
-Mike Silverman

Opening Night Gala, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, October 2009

Chicago Tribune October 5, 2009
“Fleming’s radiant tonal float and seamless column of gorgeous sounds were an ideal complement to the lushness of the orchestrations…These songs could have been composed with Fleming in mind. It will be difficult to forget the seemingly artless rapture of her ‘Freundliche Vision,’ ‘Verfuhrung’ and ‘Caecilie;’ the soaring intensity of ‘Zueignung;’ the candle-lit warmth of ‘Winterweihe;’ the rosy glow of ‘Morgen’…
-John von Rhein

Chicago Classical Review October 4, 2009
“Rarely will one hear a voice so suited to repertoire, with Fleming’s rich, creamy soprano and impassioned style riding Strauss’s long lines. The singer balanced the unbridled moments with a touching expansive romantic yearning of Verfuhrung…”
-Lawrence A. Johnson

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