May 20, 2012•32 min
Renée Fleming's singing voice has been described as "double cream." She remembers being "jelly" at the end of her first rehearsal for her professional debut. In this episode, she talks about performing and the challenges of being heard, without amplification, over an orchestra, but also about the pleasure of being in the audience “where I have literally been sobbing at the end” of an opera. Music excerpts included in Here’s the Thing’s conversation with Renée Fleming (in order of appearance): “Glück, das mir verblieb (Marietta’s Lied)” from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt (Live performance from the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala, March 15, 2009; Conductor: James Levine) “I’ll Be Seeing You” (Renée Fleming with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble/”Arranger’s Holiday” recorded Fall 1981 (archive tape courtesy Renée Fleming; special thanks to Ed Fleming) "Contessa, perdono!" from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Houston Grand Opera. Conductor; Christoph Eschenbach. 1991 “Glück, das mir verblieb (Marietta’s Lied)” from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt (Live performance from the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala, March 15, 2009; Conductor: James Levine) “Dis-moi que je suis belle” from Massenet’s Thaïs (Live Met performance, December 20th, 2008; Conductor: Jesús López-Cobos) “Hab’ mir’s gelobt” from Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (Live Met performance, January 9, 2010, with Susan Graham as Octavian and Christine Schäfer as Sophie; Conductor: Edo de Waart) “Mio caro bene” from Handel’s Rodelinda (Live Met performance, January 1, 2005; Conductor: Harry Bicket) Finale from Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (Live Met performance, March 26, 2011; Conductor: Andris Nelsons) Finale from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Live Met performance, February 12, 1994, with Dwayne Croft (Count Almaviva), Marie McLaughlin (Susanna), James Morris (Figaro), Jane Bunnell (Cherubino), François Loup (Dr. Bartolo), Judith Christin (Marcellina), Michel Sénéchal (Don Basilio), James Courtney (Antonio), and Korliss Uecker (Barbarina); Conductor: Julius Rudel) Special thanks this week to The Metropolitan Opera and the Houston Grand Opera for providing archival musical excerpts. In particular, thanks to Peter Clark, Mary Jo Heath, Brent Ness, Sam Neuman, Elena Park, and Claire Vince. And thanks to Paul Batsel at the Office of Renée Fleming.