Renée Fleming Ponders the Future of Her Opera Career

Classic Arts   Renée Fleming Ponders the Future of Her Opera Career Her starring role in the Met's new Der Rosenkavalier may be her last staged opera performance.
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Renée Fleming Andrew Eccles

When opera superstar Renée Fleming takes her final bow in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Der Rosenkavalier this spring, it may be her last curtain call in a staged opera. However, she by no means has any intention of ending her opera career.

The production, which opens April 13 and runs through May 13, is poised to be her farewell to traditional opera roles, after which time she expects to focus on concert work and the development side of the art form. The role of the Marschallin—an older woman having an affair with a young Count—would mark the conclusion of a 30-year stage career that’s led to acclaimed performances around the world and multiple Grammy Awards.

In an interview with The New York Times, Fleming shared that she plans to give more concerts moving forward, record albums, and work more with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she serves as a creative consultant.

“I feel like we’ve been left out of the conversation,” Fleming says of opera’s status in the entertainment industry. “I’m trying to open the door again. I think my contribution now is to think about audience development, about supporting young artists, and the development of the art form.” Among Fleming’s considerations in the new stage of her career is developing a start-up for streaming classical arts performances.

Fleming made her Metropolitan Debut in 1991 in Le Nozze di Figaro; three years prior, she was named a winner of the company’s Grand Council Auditions. She went on to perform at the Met in The Magic Flute, Otello, Peter Grimes, La Traviata, Eugene Onegin, Rusalka, Armida, The Merry Widow, and more. She is the recipient of four Grammy Awards; three for Best Classical Vocal Performance and won for Best Classical Vocal Solo. In 2015, she made her Broadway debut in the opera-themed comedy Living On Love.

For more information on the Met's production of Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, visit MetOpera.org.

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