The award's 58th annual presentation was hosted by Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell and first lady Judge Marjorie O. Rendell at the Governor's Residence. The Distinguished Daughters, each nominated by Pennsylvania organizations, received medals and citations.
Judge Rendell, who received the award in 1999, said, "Each Distinguished Daughter is a remarkable woman whose presence represents a powerful and lasting tribute to the spirit of community that has provided both strength and prosperity to Pennsylvania. The governor and I commend them for their leadership and contributions to the commonwealth."
The other honorees include a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, an expert in substance abuse, and the director of Philadelphia Mural Arts.
Fleming made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1991 as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and has returned there many times. Among her other signature roles are Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. She appeared in the world premieres of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles, Conrad Susa's Dangerous Liaisons, and Andr_ Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.
Her most recent recordings include Sacred Songs, a collection of music by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Schubert, and others recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Strauss's Daphne, recorded with the WDR Symphony; and a jazz-inspired album titled Haunted Heart.
Fleming's memoir, The Inner Voice: The Making of a Singer, was recently released in paperback.