A star playing the administrative role of "creative consultant" is a first in the company's history. Fleming's appointment is effective immediately, for a term of five years. She and Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric's music director, have been elected to the board of directors as vice-presidents.
According to Lyric Opera, Fleming "will play an active leadership role in creating new projects and initiatives designed to increase opera audiences and awareness of the art form, while sharing in the company's artistic vision."
Among plans for Fleming and her Lyric colleagues:
- Curating a world-premiere opera to debut in the 2015-16 season.
Collaborating with other Chicago-based arts institutions to send a special message about the strength of culture in Chicago.
Fostering an annual commitment to American music theatre, starting with a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! in the spring of 2013.
Further developing Lyric's young-professionals initiative, which takes opera into the workplace and provides entry-level experiences for the curious adult.
Expanding the education activities of Lyric to include a joint program with the Merit School of Music, devoted to finding and nurturing young, talented singers in the Chicago area, and to making Lyric more accessible to the children and young adults involved in all areas of music education at Merit.
Presenting non-operatic and off-season performances at the Civic Opera House.
Continuing her on-stage presence at Lyric, including a Subscriber Appreciation Concert with Dmitri Hvorostovsky honoring general director William Mason on Jan. 7, 2012; staged concert performances of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire with Fleming in the role created for her, Blanche DuBois, in spring 2013; a production of Capriccio for fall 2014, in which Fleming will sing the Countess (both A Streetcar Named Desire and Capriccio will be part of Lyric's subscription season); and participation in Lyric's 60th Anniversary Gala on Nov. 1, 2014.
Establishing a prominent presence in a variety of web-based marketing projects, as well as in print and broadcast media. Fleming and Sir Andrew Davis are already in preparation for an audio/video series that will introduce audiences to the new 2011-12 season.