Renee Fleming's 'Chicago Voices' transforms the Civic Opera House with soaring melody
5 February 2017
What would happen if some of the greatest voices to come out of Chicago joined forces on a single stage?
You'd encounter the sound of the city itself, for Chicago has nurtured and shaped all those idioms, and then some. Without the blues innovations of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, the gospel thunder of Mahalia Jackson, the folk incantations of Steve Goodman, the jazz seductions of Nat King Cole and the contributions of uncounted other Chicagoans, American music would be much the poorer.
You'd hear more than just jazz and rap, gospel and blues, classical and folk.
Anyone who doubts that proposition probably was not at the Civic Opera House on Saturday evening, when opera star Renee Fleming and a stylistically far-reaching cast of singers staged a three-hour marathon aptly titled "Chicago Voices Concert." More than just a gathering of musically wide-ranging performers, the event made tangible this city's enormous impact on how America — and, arguably, the world — sings.
Renee Fleming, John Prine and friends gear up to celebrate 'Chicago Voices'
31 January 2017
Renée Fleming Takes the Stage in ‘The Merry Widow'
10 November 2015
November 10, 2015
“In opera,” says Renée Fleming, “the lyric soprano is typically the victim.” Little wonder, then, that the opera star is relishing the chance to play a very different kind of heroine in the Lyric Opera’s The Merry Widow, opening November 14 in an eye-popping production directed by Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. As the wealthy widow Hanna Glawari, Fleming teases, needles, and manipulates an admiring throng of gold-digging suitors, all while threading her plush soprano through Franz Lehár’s often exquisite melodies. “I’ve never really gotten to play a character like that,” she says. “She really has the upper hand.”
A closer look: big screen magnification for Capriccio
7 October 2014
Richard Strauss’s Capriccio is an opera for an ensemble of fabulous singing actors. In a great Capriccio (which is certainly what you’re going to see and hear at Lyric!), the detailed give-and-take between the performers is always a joy to watch. So that this aspect of the production can be more thoroughly appreciated by those in seats located at a fair distance from the stage, Lyric is installing IMAG (the audio-visual acronym for “image modification”) screens in the first balcony and upper balcony for October 9, 15, 22, and 28. - See more at: http://www.lyricopera.org/a-closer-look-imag/#sthash.ETAQflBc.dpuf
Lyric goes to London
26 July 2013
July 19 reunited Lyric's mighty triumvirate of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming at the Royal Opera House for a semi-staged concert performance of Richard Strauss's final opera, Capriccio. With Anthony in the audience, Sir Andrew conducted Renée as the Countess, one of her signature roles, to great acclaim:
"Swathed in a glittering Vivienne Westwood gown, she look[ed] ravishing and the soft, poised, top notes in the closing minutes hung in the air like so many silvery moonbeams." Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
"Andrew Davis is a master Straussian, conducting with unassertive ease and stroking the requisite velvet out of the strings." Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
Comedy Hit Returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago
24 May 2013
Photo by Todd Rosenberg
The Second City Guide to the Opera,the ground-breaking, sold-out show born of Renée's visit to the famed improv comedy troupe, is returning! Lyric Opera and The Second City will present a cabaret-style version of the comic look at the world of opera at the Civic Opera House, with audience members seated onstage. The May-June run will feature two opera singers and Second City ensemble members. Wait staff will provide table service, with full bar and light food throughout the evening. Renée won't be performing this time, but she will check in on the show opening week.
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