Classical 91.5

Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming sings one of her signature roles as the Marschallin, opposite Elina Garanca in her first North American performances as Octavian, the impulsive young title character.  (Feb 27th) Original broadcast May 13, 2017.

Broadway World

Powerhouses Renée Fleming and Audra McDonald team up with the San Francisco Symphony under Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas to open the 2018-2019 season of Carnegie Hall Live concerts. Tuesdays at 8pm

American soprano Renee Fleming grew up in Rochester. During her undergraduate studies at the Crane School of Music she sang with a jazz trio.  While she was at Crane she decided to do her graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music. 

Her first major break came in 1988, when she won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. She performed at the inaugural celebration for President Obama, and in 2014 was the first opera singer to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Here Renee sings It's a Beautiful Day for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert (2012)

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

National Institutes of Health via AP

The National Institutes of Health is uniting musicians, music therapists and neuroscientists to advance our understanding of the human brain.  

Click here to read about the work of NIH researchers such as David Jangraw.

Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

An emotional crowd cheered soprano Renée Fleming on Saturday after her final performance as the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier.”

“I’m thrilled to be leaving her on a high note with this phenomenal cast and gorgeous, smart new production," she said.  "I wouldn’t mind stopping the clocks for a moment or two today.”

See video and read more here.

Decca/Andrew Eccles

Say it ain't so, Renée!  

Beloved singer (and Rochester icon) Renée Fleming is saying farewell to staged opera with a performance of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier this spring. But of course, that doesn't mean she's done with music. She'll be singing concerts, continuing her work with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as their Creative Consultant, and more.

Read all about it in the New York Times

UPDATE: Not so fast, says Renée Fleming in an interview with NPR! She also says she still likes the New York Times article, despite that one misunderstanding.

Simple Gifts

Nov 11, 2016
Brenda Tremblay

I was trying to remember who ruled Austria when Beethoven was working on his Fifth Symphony.  German Emperor Francis II?  Napoleon?   Can you name the Holy Roman Emperor in power when Mozart was putting the finishing touches on The Magic Flute?   Which U.S. President lived in the White House when Aaron Copland wrote Appalachian Spring

Unless you majored in music in college, you probably can’t toss off these names without a little help from Google.

Photo © by David White

When the University of Rochester’s Eastman School decided to send a student orchestra to New York this fall, Dean Jamal Rossi commissioned Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts to write something new for soprano Renée Fleming.  It didn’t take composer Kevin Puts long to find a source of inspiration for their collaboration.  Click on the link for the full interview.

An Interview with Neil Varon: "Letters from Georgia"

Nov 9, 2016

This Saturday November 12, the Eastman Philharmonia will premiere “Letters from Georgia” a new work by Kevin Puts featuring soprano Renee Fleming.  What’s special about this premiere is that both Puts and Fleming are Eastman alumni, and the high-profile guests aren’t working with a professional orchestra—the top student orchestra at Eastman is presenting the song cycle on one of their concerts.  This new work was commissioned by the Eastman School and written specially for Ms. Fleming’s voice. 

WXXI Classical Intern Rennie Cotner had the chance to sit down with the music director of the Eastman Philharmonia Neil Varon, to talk about his role in the premiere of the song cycle, which sets letters written by American artist Georgia O’Keefe to music. 

Decca/Andrew Eccles

On November 12, Renee Fleming and the Eastman Philharmonia under the baton of Neil Varon, will premiere "Letters from Georgia," a new work by Eastman School of Music alum Kevin Puts.  The song cycle, which sets letters from Georgia O'Keeffe to music, was created on commission from the school and tailored to the voice of Ms. Fleming. After the world premiere in Rochester, they will repeat the performance in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras chatted with Renee Fleming about the piece, and about her involvement with her alma mater.