Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Renee Fleming - not a person who repeats very much

La Diva Renee at the Hollywood Bowl - 2004
Ladies and Gents ... can you believe this? It turns out that our 52 year old Diva Next Door is getting hitched. That's right. LA Times is reporting that Renée Fleming is engaged to be married and expected to take the walk down the aisle this September. The groom? Lawyer Timothy Jessell, of course.

And, I had to hear the news from the LA Times? Someone's holding out on me!

In addition to settling down with her new husband ... and let's not forget her two daughters from a previous marriage - Amelia and Sage ... it appears that La Diva Renée is starting to give some clues to us about the twilight of her career. In politics, it's called a dog whistle: something that is said off the cuff in a perfectly innocent manner [wink wink] - but, for the operatic-base, we hear her loud and clear.

From the LA Times:
Fleming said she has no plans to do another pop album -- "I'm not a person who repeats very much," she said. This summer, she'll be in Paris to record an album of French music. After that, Fleming said she wants to devote more time in her career to concerts and recitals, especially to German songs. "I'm kind of enamored of the song recital and I'm looking forward to getting back to that," she said.
So, opera's Queen Bee has put her foot on the brake. She may not be pressing too hard on it, but let's just say this: her foot is no longer on the gas pedal - that's for certain. Now Chickpeas, before you go and get all lathered up about this, let's remember that it takes a good 10 years for an operatic career like La Diva Renée's to truly come to a stop.

La Diva Renee's first Press Conference with LOC
While her foot is resting on the brake pedal of her singing career, her creative inspiration is still full throttle, though. As you'll remember, she was recently appointed Lyric Opera of Chicago's first Creative Consultant in the company's history. As Creative Consultant she'll play an integral role in creating new projects and initiatives designed to increase opera audiences and awareness of the art form, while sharing in the company’s artistic vision.

Speaking about her creative influences, the ever-cerebral La Diva Renée points to the following:
Marilyn Horne: It all goes back to the first album my father bought me -- Marilyn Horne singing German lieder. It was my introduction to lieder sung by a consummate professional who was in her prime. Certain musical moments in your life become markers, and this was one of them for me.

Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima by Krzysztof Penderecki: I first heard it in high school, where I had a special class for composition. I loved it because it sounded like what it was about. Usually, some sort of new music captured my imagination. George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children was another obsession.

Modern art: I love art from sort of the late 19th century to now. I wasn't exposed to this much as a child. The first time it struck was at the National Gallery in London, when I was a student, and I happened to go as a tourist and there was an exhibit on Marc Chagall. His art is so whimsical and fanciful and inherently romantic, and that started me on my journey.

The musical tastes of my daughters: When I was a kid, nobody listened to what their parents listened to. Now it's quite common. My 15-year-old [Sage] is into '40s music and Frank Sinatra, and my daughter in college [Amelia] is into classical music. Their listening habits are more eclectic than ours were. It's not because I'm a hip parent.
I say, cheers Renée. Brilliant.

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