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Renée Fleming sings Letterman's Top Ten

Renée Fleming delivers the "Top Ten Opera Lyrics" on the Late Show with David Letterman! 

 Lyric's creative consultant Renée Fleming delivers the "Top Ten Opera Lyrics" on the Late Show with David Letterman!




Video courtesy of cbs.com.

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Lyric goes to London

July 19 reunited Lyric's mighty triumvirate of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming at the Royal Opera House for a semi-staged concert performance of Richard Strauss's final opera, Capriccio

FlemingCapriccio

July 19 reunited Lyric's mighty triumvirate of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming at the Royal Opera House for a semi-staged concert performance of Richard Strauss's final opera, Capriccio. With Anthony in the audience, Sir Andrew conducted Renée as the Countess, one of her signature roles, to great acclaim:

 "Swathed in a glittering Vivienne Westwood gown, she look[ed] ravishing and the soft, poised, top notes in the closing minutes hung in the air like so many silvery moonbeams." Richard Fairman, Financial Times

"Andrew Davis is a master Straussian, conducting with unassertive ease and stroking the requisite velvet out of the strings." Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph  

Lyric's leaders are working on four continents this summer! Where in the world is...

Anthony Freud? In addition to seeing Capriccio, Anthony attended the Royal Opera House's production of Benjamin Britten's Gloriana. Other highlights of his work travels in Europe included André Tchaikowsky's The Merchant of Venice and Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Bregenz Festival in Austria, Verdi's Attila at Theater an der Wien in Vienna, and Verdi's Il Trovatore and Wagner's Lohengrin at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In August and September, Anthony will attend performances at Santa Fe Opera, Glyndebourne, Bayreuth, and Salzburg.

Sir Andrew Davis? Sir Andrew's summer engagements in the UK require him to juggle three scores at the same time! In August, he returns to the Glyndebourne Festival, two hours south of London, where he will conduct Billy Budd for the Benjamin Britten centennial. Sir Andrew will lead the Glyndebourne cast and chorus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a live broadcast of Billy Budd for the BBC Proms. BBC Proms fans also await Sir Andrew's rendition of Tippett's A Midsummer Marriage with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Sir Andrew will spend September with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, where he is music director. His programs in Melbourne include conducting Ryan Opera Center alumni Amber Wagner and René Barbera in Verdi's Requiem.October finds Sir Andrew back home in Chicago for Parsifal.

Renée Fleming? Renée's end-of-July recital in Dublin caps off a terrific season of international touring, including performances in China, Taiwan, Austria, and the United Kingdom, and a stop by the White House to receive the National Medal of Arts from President Obama. Renée's upcoming season once again will take her to all corners of the globeincluding Chicago for her first-ever duo concert with tenor sensation Jonas Kaufmann. 

Pictured above: Soprano Renée Fleming sings the Countess in Richard Strauss's Capriccio at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden. (Photo: Royal Opera House/Catherine Ashmore)

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And the National Medal of Arts goes to...

... Renée Fleming "for her contributions to American music. Known to many as 'the people’s diva,' Ms. Fleming has captivated audiences around the world with an adventurous repertoire spanning opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop." 

Reneeflemingmedal

...Renée Fleming "for her contributions to American music. Known to many as 'the people’s diva,' Ms. Fleming has captivated audiences around the world with an adventurous repertoire spanning opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop," announced the White House this afternoon, when President Barack Obama honored Lyric's creative consultant with a National Medal of Arts citation in the East Room. First Lady Michelle Obama also attended.

The National Medal of Arts is the United States Government's highest award to artists and arts patrons. Ms. Fleming was nominated by the American public and ratified by the National Council of the Arts.

Eleven others, including filmmaker George Lucas, musician Allen Toussaint, playwright Tony Kushner, and painter Ellsworth Kelly, were awarded the 2012 citation. A further twelve, including author Joan Didion and poet Kay Ryan, were awarded the sister citation of National Humanities Medal in this afternoon's ceremony, which you can watch in full below. (Renée is honored at 14:09.)

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Celeb sightings at Lyric

Chicken & waffles, sea salt & chocolate, pineapple & pizzacelebrity chef and author Art Smith understands that some pairings are too intriguing to pass up. That's why opening weekend of The Guide saw the Table Fifty-Two chef enjoying the fruit of Lyric Opera and The Second City's creative collaboration. 

Book of Mormon cast backstage

Chicken & waffles, sea salt & chocolate, pineapple & pizza—celebrity chef and author Art Smith understands that some pairings are too intriguing to pass up. That's why opening weekend of The Second City Guide to the Opera  saw the Table Fifty-Two chef onstage at the Civic Opera House, enjoying the fruit of Lyric Opera and The Second City's creative collaboration. 

Other arts celebrities who attended opening weekend include:

• Renée Fleming, renowned diva and Lyric creative consultant, who conceived the partnership at a The Second City revue, when, by chance, a sketch featured one of her recordings.

Zarin Mehta, president and executive director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and former Ravinia president and CEO

Ashley Wheater, artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet

Cast members of The Book of Mormon, Broadway in Chicago's smash-hit at Bank of America Theatre

With cabaret-style seating and full table service onstage in the Ardis Krainik Theatre, every guest at The Guide feels like a celeb.

Pictured above: The Second City Guide to the Opera performer and writer Tim Sniffen (in red) keeps The Book of Mormon actors (l-r:) Ben Platt, Nic Rouleau, and Chris Shyer laughing backstage. (Photo: Magda Krance)

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