Renée Fleming

Festival Curator

Renee Fleming: Photo Decca/Andrew Eccles
Renee Fleming: Photo Decca/Andrew Eccles

Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time. In 2013, President Obama awarded her America’s highest honor for an individual artist, the National Medal of Arts. She brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014, as the first classical artist ever to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Renée has sung for momentous occasions around the world, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to an historic first in 2012, when she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II. In 2008, Renée became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

This year, Renée’s concert schedule will take her to Boston, New York, Stockholm, London, Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco. Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, Fleming has sung not only with Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and Andrea Bocelli but also with Elton John, Paul Simon, Sting, Lou Reed, Josh Groban, and Joan Baez. Renée has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, and Live from Lincoln Center. She has been a frequent Guest on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, and she famously sang the “Top Ten” list on The Late Show with David Letterman.

Decca released Renée’s most recent album, Berg: Lyric Suite; Wellesz: Sonnets, in September. In recent years, this fourteen-time Grammy nominated artist has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to jazz, indie rock, and the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings. Her recent opera dvds include Handel’s Rodelinda, Massenet’s Thaïs and Verdi’s Otello, all three in the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series; Strauss’s Arabella and Ariadne auf Naxos; and Verdi’s La Traviata, filmed at London’s Royal Opera House.

Among her numerous awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal; Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit; Sweden’s Polar Prize; France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur; Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music; and honorary doctorates from Harvard University, Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School. Renée’s memoir, The Inner Voice, has been published around the world, and is currently in its 14th paperback printing from Penguin.

Earlier this year, Renée was appointed Artistic Advisor-at-Large for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2010, she was named the first-ever Creative Consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she recently curated the creation of Bel Canto, a world premiere opera based on Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Board of Sing for Hope, the Board of Trustees of Asia Society, and the Artistic Advisory Board of the Polyphony Foundation. >