What happens when opera goes pop? There's a grand tradition of opera stars teaming up with pop stars to create memorable collaborations. Here are a few of our favorite examples (both exciting and unexpected) of when what happens when musical genres collide!
Lyric's creative consultant Renée Fleming is known for her diverse musical interests. Here she is with the late Lou Reed perform "The Perfect Day" in Prague in 2009. The performance was part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution.
And she has also partnered with crooner Josh Groban, performing a medley from Brigadoon.
The adventurous Anne Sofie von Otter (starring as Clairon in Strauss's Capriccio from October 6-28) is not afraid to expand her musical horizons. She collaborated on an album with Elvis Costello in 2001, and they performed the title track, "For the Stars," on The Late Show with David Letterman.
As a native of Sweden, it only seems natural that she would release an album of covers of ABBA songs and others written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Here is her cover of ABBA's "Like An Angel Passing Through My Room."
To celebrate Barcelona being chosen for the 1988 Olympics, pop icon Freddie Mercury and the great soprano (and Barcelona native) Montserrat Caballé teamed up to record a theme song, fittingly titled "Barcelona." They went on to record an entire album together, which would be Mercury's last.
Luciano Pavarotti is the king of pop duets. His "Pavarotti and Friends" concerts featured duets with U2, Lou Reed (another "Perfect Day" rendition), Sheryl Crow, and others. Here he is performing "It's a Man's World" with James Brown.
And he performed "I Hate You, Then I Love You" with diva Céline Dion.
Like Pavarotti, who joined him as one of "The Three Tenors," Plácido Domingo has also achieved a great deal of crossover success. He had a hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Perhaps Love," a duet with John Denver recorded in 1981.
And he's performed with his Muppet alter ego Plácido Flamingo on Sesame Street.
(Lyric Opera of Chicago does not own copyrights to any of the above videos.)