Back to: About Lineup

Renée Fleming

Lyric’s Creative Consultant

Renee Fleming - Lyric Opera of Chicago Creative Consultant


Renée Fleming

Internationally acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming was appointed in 2010 as the first-ever creative consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is a member of the Board of Directors and also a vice president. Fleming is currently curating the creation of Bel Canto, commissioned by Lyric Opera and scheduled for its world premiere during the 2015-16 season.

At a White House ceremony in 2013, the President awarded Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist. Known as “the people’s diva,” Fleming continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, while extending her reach to include other musical forms and media. Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, she has hosted many television and radio broadcasts, and performed for a television audience of 111 million in 2014, as the first classical artist to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. As a musical statesman, Fleming has been sought after on numerous distinguished occasions, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the 2012 Diamond Jubilee concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

The soprano’s 2015-16 season begins with concerts and recitals in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera, season highlights also include concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and two appearances in London -- a concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a solo recital at the Barbican.

In addition to The Merry Widow (Metropolitan Opera) and Capriccio (Lyric Opera, Dresden’s Semperoper), Fleming’s recent successes onstage have included Arabella (Salzburg Festival), Rusalka (Met), A Streetcar Named Desire (Los Angeles Opera), and Living on Love (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Broadway). Fleming’s recent recitals have spanned the globe, from Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires to Paris, Vienna, and Beijing. Concerts in 2014 included a duo evening with tenor Jonas Kaufmann at Lyric Opera and Strauss orchestral songs in Dresden. In 2013, Fleming joined with Washington’s Kennedy Center to present American Voices, a concert and 3-day festival celebrating American singing. The festival was the subject of a Great Performances documentary on PBS.

Fleming won her fourth Grammy Award in 2013 for her album Poèmes, featuring a collection of 20th-century French masterpieces. Recipient of 14 Grammy nominations to date, she has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to an album of indie rock covers, a jazz album, and the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Among her most recent DVDs are Arabella (Salzburg), Lucrezia Borgia (San Francisco), and Otello, Rodelinda, and Thaïs (all from the Met). Her recording honors range from the 2009 Echo Award to the Prix Maria Callas Orphée d’Or.

Other honors include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Sweden’s Polar Prize, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music, and honorary doctorates from Duke University, Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School.