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 recently curated the creation of Bel Canto, commissioned by Lyric Opera and premiered during the 2015/16 season. She is currently spearheading Lyric’s Chicago Voices, an ongoing festival culminating in a Gala Concert on February 4, 2017.

Fleming was awarded America's highest honor for an artist, the National Medal of Arts, by President Obama in 2013. 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 (her fourth) for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Fleming has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. An earlier distinction came in 2008 when Fleming became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

Fleming’s 2016-17 tour schedule includes concerts in San Francisco, Toronto, Boston, Budapest, Paris, Madrid, and Tokyo. This season she will be seen as the Marschallin in a new production of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera.

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. She 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. In 2015, she made her Broadway debut as an actress in the comedy Living on Love, for which she was nominated for a Drama League Award. In 2013, she joined with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to present American Voices, a concert and 3-day festival celebrating the best American singing in all genres. The festival was the subject of a Great Performances documentary on PBS.

In March of 2016, Fleming was appointed Artistic Advisor-at-Large for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Board of Sing for Hope, and the Artistic Advisory Board of the Polyphony Foundation, which works to bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel by creating a common ground where young people come together around classical music.

Among her awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and honorary doctorates from Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School.