Renée Fleming - Kudos

Opening Night Gala, New York Philharmonic, September 2009

The Wall Street Journal September 18, 2009
“Soprano Renée Fleming bathed the songs in her luxurious voice, creating gorgeous effects…while not being afraid to approach guttural vocalism to emphasize the violence…”
-Barrymore Laurence Scherer

The Financial Times September 18, 2009
“[Renée Fleming] sang with a fine fusion of preciosity, sensuality and piety while oozing glamour in a gown credited to Angel Sanchez…”
-Martin Bernheimer

Musical America September 18, 2009
“Renée Fleming was in fine voice and sang with considerable musical and emotional insight using excellent French diction…There were many details to relish in Fleming’s singing – the sensuality of her repeated exclamation ‘Ah! Mon collier!’ in ‘Le Collier,’ to name but one…”
-George Loomis

The Associated Press September 17, 2009
“Fleming was stunning in Messiaen's ‘Poemes.’ Wearing a royal blue gown designed by Angel Sanchez, Fleming sang passionately and nearly nonstop during this 30 minute ethereal ode to the Roman Catholic sacrament of marriage…”
-Martin Steinberg

The New York Times September 17, 2009
“Ms. Fleming is perfect for this demanding work, and she sang it splendidly. And from memory. Let no one doubt that she is a consummate musician…Ms. Fleming, looking and sounding radiant, shaped each phrase with sensitivity to the words and a keen feeling for nuance and color. ‘Poèmes Pour Mi’ is not a work for some generic celestial soprano, nor for a contemporary-music specialist. Ms. Fleming brought vocal charisma to bear, which lent eerie ecstasy to even the most sublime passages of this deeply spiritual song cycle. In the tender ‘Paysage’ (‘Landscape’), she sang with creamy legato phrasing. Yet in ‘Épouvante’ (‘Terror’), a vision of hell generated by the husband’s fear of losing his love, both earthly and divine, she threw herself into the music’s wild fits, dispatching demonic streams of ‘ha, ha, ha, ho.’ What must some television viewers, tuning in to see Renée Fleming, she of the beautiful voice, have thought? And good for her…”
-Anthony Tommasini September 17, 2009
“The glamour quotient of the evening was provided by soprano Renée Fleming, stunning in a midnight blue gown by Angel Sanchez. She gave an intimate, luminous performance of Messiaen’s tribute to his first wife, Claire Delbos…”
-Zinta Lundborg

NY Daily September 17, 2009
“The piece makes huge demands on its soloists, a soprano who must also be an actress of extraordinary power. The Singer last night was Renée Fleming, who met all the dramatic challenges impressively. Her lush, sensuous voice throbbed with emotion but, as the music required, often seemed like an instrument in the orchestral ensemble…”
-Howard Kissel

Culture Monster Los Angeles Times Blog September 16, 2009
“It was Fleming’s intensity that kept me riveted…”
-Mark Swed September 16, 2009
“This is tough singing, in both senses of the word, and only the toughest singer can essay its modal passions, its stress, clarity and even horror…she gave emotion where it was most needed. She could offer the Medieval plainsong of the first song, as well as its repeated ‘Allelujah’s. The simplicity of the second song was belied with the utmost coloring. The two horror songs were that of a witch , and Ms. Fleming was never afraid to grunt and groan out Messiaen’s own lines…the words and music have a magnificence which glowed with a starry luminosity…”
-Harry Rolnick

La traviata, Royal Opera House, June 2009 June 26, 2009
“She delivers the superstar goods…she gets to her death scene, and floats a heavenly top note like a trembling golden feather…Fleming has a knack for winning an audience over by sheer hard work. The crowd went wild, and rightly so…”
-Warwick Thompson

The Guardian June 22, 2009
“Renée Fleming is in complete command as Verdi’s courtesan, facing down the awesome difficulties of her big first act solo scene with assurance and maintaining a strong tone inflected with appropriate colours. Dramatically, she is never short of initiative…delivered with a sense of conviction that goes to the heart of Violetta’s emotional truth…”
-George Hall

The Times (London) June 22, 2009
“a voice as warm and rich as a fine single malt. Fired up to the heights of Act II, she made the sting of her grand renunciation tell in silken pianissimos and plangently lyric ardour: this is a world-class voice …”
-Neil Fisher June 22, 2009
“[Fleming] embodied the role 100% and delivered some of the most beautiful soprano singing I’ve ever heard. Vibrant audacious and throwing off the coloratura in ‘Sempre libera’ in Act One she rightly brought the house down, but it was the way she acted with the voice in the ensuing acts that gave notice that we were in the presence of a star. Her ability to whiten the tone when anguished and spin a barely audible pianissimo where required was mesmerizing…”
-Keith McDonnell

The Independent June 22, 2009
“the sound, borne as it is on extraordinary and effortless breath control…what a sound it is and how – in true bel canto fashion – it shapes and defines the emotion. The little hairpin dynamics, the wistful portamenti, the way in her climactic act one aria she takes time to savour the ‘mysterious’, ‘exalted’ tone of the music culminating in a real (and properly ecstatic) trill…”
-Edward Seckerson

The Telegraph June 19, 2009
“Fleming spun ‘Alfredo, Alfredo’ on golden thread before collapsing in an alarmingly authentic stage faint. In her final hour, the voice became whiter, as though life was being bleached out of it, with the last ascending phrases of ‘Addio del passato’ like agonizing twists of breathless pain. What other soprano today can match such superlative craft?…”
-Rupert Christiansen June 19, 2009
“[T]here’s so much going on in Fleming’s interpretation that the connoisseur could not help but be intrigued by what she brings to the role of Violetta…”

RECITAL TOUR, April 2009

No non-German singer — maybe no singer at all — sings Strauss as ravishingly as Fleming at her best, and she was at her best......Fleming is as glamorous as a diva can get, but there's little that's diva-ish about her beyond her knockout looks. She's now such a star, she can get away with a program that isn't going to be merely crowd-pleasing (or critic-pleasing). And she's become so comfortable with her celebrity that she can confide in the audience as if we were her old friends, and tell us about how she once dropped her microphone and how much she loves what she's singing. And we love her all the more.

When you're the world's top diva, you can perform works on your terms and get away with it. American star soprano Renee Fleming ... swept the capacity audience off its feet with a demanding program of serious music communicated with a powerful immediacy and intimacy that shrank the huge auditorium down into a table for two.It was Fleming and your obliging shoulder, cheerfully absorbing a series of deeply intimate and emotional confidences......Every generation gets only a handful of opportunities to see artistry like this onstage,

Renee Fleming possesses gifts of gab and garb that most sopranos must envy. Oh, and a voice of luminous colors......On the superstar singer circuit, Fleming comes across as the diva next door, full of antic humor and down-to-earth congeniality. She knows how to make an audience feel like privileged friends at a song-filled soiree

Fleming bends her impeccable pitch with great, expressive insight. Her focus in the substantial bottom of her great range is a wonder for its own sake, and it sets the stage for seamless tone production right to the top. Fleming has cultivated a naturally beautiful voice into an exquisite instrument that she commands at will. She could sing scales and bring tears to your eyes......Technique is just the beginning of her artistry....Fleming's powerful stage presence came not from her spectacular Dior gown, but rather from the palpable sense of her surrender to the music. Whether she was singing or listening to the orchestra, Fleming was wholly in the music and as transported as any of us. When you're that good and really on, it's all bliss.

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