CHF 2014: Journeys

Beautiful Voice: A Conversation with Renée Fleming

One of the world’s greatest opera stars, Renée Fleming is also a Chicago treasure. The creative consultant for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she has become an ambassador for arts education in the city. She is also the force behind one of Lyric’s most ambitious projects: Bel Canto, an opera based on Ann Patchett’s celebrated novel, which in turn takes its inspiration from Fleming’s career. She will discuss all that and more with opera dramaturg Colin Ure. You’ve heard her sing, including the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl; now come hear Renée Fleming talk.

This program is generously underwritten by Julie and Roger Baskes and presented in partnership with Lyric Unlimited, an initiative of Lyric Opera of Chicago, and 98.7 WFMT.

“Fleming remains a class apart.”—Chicago Sun-Times

Photograph by Decca/Andrew Eccles

Speakers and Performers

Renée Fleming

Winner of the National Medal of Arts and the 2013 Grammy for Best Classical Vocal, Renée Fleming is one of the world’s most acclaimed and beloved singers. She has sung for such distinguished occasions as the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony and the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. In 2008, she became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala; and earlier this year, she was the first classical singer ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.

Colin Ure

Colin Ure was born in Glasgow, Scotland and studied music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Following graduation he performed as a professional classical singer throughout the UK. In 1992 he became an artists’ manager, where he advised, developed, and structured the careers of young singers worldwide. In 2005 he was appointed dramaturg for the Houston Grand Opera. Currently based in Chicago, he works as a freelance dramaturg and writer/presenter for the WFMT radio series Ryan Center Recital Series.

CHF Suggests      Related links and resources for further study

Leaders And Thinkers

Renée Fleming
Official website

Good Reads

Finally, Real Diva in Lineup for Game
The NY Times muses on Fleming's Superbowl performance

Online Resources

Opera singer Renée Fleming
Interview with PBS' Tavis Smiley [video]
Renée Fleming on A Prairie Home Companion [podcast]