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Renée Fleming (1959) Options
Daemon
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Renée Fleming (1959)

Fleming is an American soprano who specializes in opera and lieder, a type of German art song intended for soloists. The daughter of two music teachers, Fleming graduated from SUNY Potsdam in 1981 with a degree in music education and went on to study at Eastman School of Music and Juilliard. Her professional debut was in Austria in 1986. She has won numerous awards for her roles in opera and for the classical music she has recorded. What did Fleming do to pay for her studies at Juilliard? More...
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Renée Fleming (1959)
Fleming is an American soprano who specializes in opera and lieder, a type of German art song intended for soloists. The daughter of two music teachers, Fleming graduated from SUNY Potsdam in 1981 with a degree in music education and went on to study at Eastman School of Music and Juilliard. Her professional debut was in Austria in 1986. She has won numerous awards for her roles in opera and for the classical music she has recorded.
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Renée Fleming (Soprano)

Born: February 14, 1959 - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA

The American soprano, Renée Fleming, grew up in Rochester, New York. Since both her parents were voice teachers, her musical training came naturally; "My parents discussed singing every night over the dinner table; I had a tremendous music education." While at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam, she studied voice under Patricia Misslin, graduating in 1981 with a degree in music education. However, she did not automatically assume that she would make her career in performing. For a time, she considered a career in music education and, while studying at SUNY, she took up singing with a jazz trio in an off-campus bar. As well as broadening her experience in performance and communication, the jazz performances brought her to the attention of legendary jazz saxophonist, Illinois Jacquet, who was so moved by her singing that he invited her on tour with his big band. Instead she went on to graduate studies at Rochester's Eastman School of Music. Afterwards she attended the Juilliard School's American Opera Center from 1983 to 1987 under the tutelage of Beverly Johnson. In 1984, she traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, where she studied voice with two lengendary sopranos, Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and the late Arleen Augér, on a Fulbright Scholarship. She returned to New York in 1985 and completed her studies at the Juilliard School. Her early awards included winning the 1988 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, the Richard Tucker Award, the George London Prize, the Grand Prix at the International Singing Competition in Belgium and a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany.

Renée Fleming made her professional debut in 1986 as Konstanze in W.A. Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Landsestheater in Salzburg, Austria. Singing Constanze, one of the most difficult roles in the soprano repertoire, made her recognize that her vocal technique still needed work, as did her self-confidence to perform in public. She worked on both with renewed determination, and two years later, in 1988, she won the Met National Council Auditions and the George London Prize (in the same week) and the Eleanor McCollum Competition in Houston. The exposure helped her land the star-making role of the Contessa in a revival of W.A. Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro Countess at the Houston Grand Opera, and in August 1989 she made her New York City Opera debut in La Bohème. She made her London bow at Covent Garden as Glauce in Cherubini's Médée in November 1991 (or as Dircé in the same opera in 1989). She was scheduled to make her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1992, but it came unexpectedly early in March 1991 when she replaced an ill Felicity Lott as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. As the Countess, Fleming also made her debuts at the Tetro Colón in Buenos Aires, in San Francisco (1991), Vienna (1993), Geneva (1993), and Glyndebourne (May 1994). She made her New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in March 1993. In August 1993 she was the soloist in Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 at the opening of the concert hall in Aspen, Colorado. She made her La Scala debut in Milan in 1993 as Donna Elvira in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni. With the Houston Grand Opera in 1995, she sang her first Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, a role which has also brought her great acclaim. She has had success in roles across the operatic spectrum, always relishing a new challenge. In 1997 she sang her first Manon in Paris at the Opéra de la Bastille (and again at the Metropolitan Opera later that year). Singing this French work in Paris was a brave step which won her glowing reviews. The Times wrote "Challenges do not come much larger than Manon, especially when sung in Paris. But Fleming took the risk...and the result was a personal triumph."

In addition to her many appearances at New York's Metropolitan Opera, Renée Fleming's voice has resounded throughout the distinguished opera houses and concert venues of the world. As well as her accomplishments singing central repertoire, Renée. Fleming, a great champion of new music, performed in the World Première of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles at the San Francisco Opera in December 1991; she sang the title role in the revival of Floyd's Susannah at the Chicago Lyric Opera in October 1993; she created Madam de Tourvel in the World Premiere of Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons in September 1994 and, most recently, she created Blanche DuBois in the World Premiere of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire in September 1998, also at the San Francisco Opera.

In November 1998, she starred in The Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera, conducted by James Levine and co-starring Cecilia Bartoli and Bryn Terfel. The New York Times said of her performance on the first night: "'Porgi amor' was a flood of beautiful sound; the climactic tones of 'Dove sono' made the body tingle." 1999 began with an international recital tour; in the USA the schedule included dates at Carnegie Hall and Chicago's Symphony Hall. She managed to leave audiences everywhere wanting still more, even though she regularly returned to sing half an hour of encores. The Toronto Globe and Mail described her remarkable performance there: "Fleming's lyric soprano has the one thing that every great singer needs, an unmistakable, distinctive, individual timbre. Commanding intelligence and musicianship take the gift even further, allowing her to interpret ad communicate on the highest level." In Europe she collaborated with pianist Christoph Eschenbach in a Paris recital and went on to perform in Milan, Vienna and Copenhagen. In April 1999, she returned to the Met for a production of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, conducted by James Conlon, before returning to Paris for the remainder of the spring for a production of Alcina at the Bastille, conducted by William Christie. Following the summer's stage and concert performances in Paris, Germany and the Czech Republic, she returned to the USA to concentrate on operatic roles: in September 1999 she sang Louise in San Francisco; in November, Alcina in Chicago and in December she appeared at the Met to prepare for one of her signature roles, the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. She also sung the Marschallin in London's Covent Garden in March 2000. In 2003 she made a triumphant appearance as Violetta in La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera.

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