Fleming will appear at the opening of Denver's Ellie Caulkins Opera House, but Kristin Clayton will sing Heggie and McNally's one-woman opera At the Statue of Venus. According to Opera Colorado, Fleming has been unable to prepare the new work because her mother is ill.
"Terrence McNally and I send our loving and supportive wishes to our dear friend Ren_e Fleming and her family at this time of her mother's illness," Heggie said in a statement. "Naturally, we regret that she will not be able to premiere At the Statue of Venus, but we understand completely. We are incredibly fortunate, as well as grateful, that the extraordinary Kristin Clayton is able to step in on very short notice to learn our piece and perform it.' "
Fleming will perform "Ebben? Ne andr‹ lontana" from Alfred Catalani's La Wally, "O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, and "Merc, dilette amiche" from Verdi's I vespri siciliani.
Also slated to perform are Judith Christin, Julian Gavin, Theodora Hanslowe, Heggie, Cynthia Lawrence, Stephen Lord, James Morris, Robert Orth, Emily Pulley, Marcia Ragonetti, Charles Taylor, Hao Jiang Tian, Stephen West, and Yalun Zhang.
The sold-out concert will be preceded by a cocktail party and followed by dinner and dancing.