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Renee Fleming: I won’t stop singing full-time, after all

April 6, 2017 by norman lebrecht

17 comments.


Having wound up the New York Times through her PR to declare that she is finished with opera, the diva and the same PR have rowed back on retirement in an interview with Vanity Fair.

‘The rumor has taken on a life of its own,’ sighs Renée.

She will, in fact, ‘continue to sing full-time.’

That’s called having your cake and eating it.


Comments (17)

  1. Alexander says:

    have you found it on her FB page ? 😉 … I bet you have 😉

  2. Ungeheuer says:

    The incessant PR and marketing efforts surrounding this woman are nauseating. Just as bad are her fans, many of whom have self-enlisted, like bots, to tamp down any criticism (and there is much to criticize about her music making, especially her distasteful mannerisms) of their diva and to promote her everywhere on the web 24/7. I for one am glad to see her leave the opera stage and biding time until Domingo and Gruberova follow suit. Can’t be soon enough.

  3. Ungeheuer says:

    The VF article is hogwash. None of her (and others’, e.g. Yo-Yo Ma, the Three Tenors) misguided populist efforts on behalf of opera and classical music have paid off in attracting new audiences. But they insist because there is money to be made —for themselves—. It is all a major deception. This Fleming woman could have (and widely publicized) a threesome with Kardashian and Jay Z and it wouldn’t move the needle for classical or opera. Disgusting.

    1. James says:

      Dear Sir or Madame

      PR is indeed nauseating, the VF article indeed swill, wherever there is money to be made there indeed are the likes of NYT, VF, Fleming in the van, the entire media industry is indeed one of starry-eyed vulgarity and major deceptions and distasteful mannerisms, all dependent on and serving the bleating masses, who are ever willing to be fleeced.

      And surely the peddling and celebration of such delights are exactly what the PR marketing fan site Slipped Disc is all about, a site to which you seem rather attached, where your own starry-eyed vulgarity and distasteful mannerisms are often on display.

      What CAN your motivations be?

      Whom is fooling whom? as Joan Crawford used to say.

      One is genuinely concerned.

      And I mean that sincerely.

      1. Bruce says:

        Don’t worry, he’s fine. There are some of us on here who don’t seem to have anything to say unless it’s negative. You can tell they’re happy — or happy-ish — if they don’t say anything. (RW2013 and Milka are/were the same way.)

      2. John says:

        Back in the days of record stores, people like him were familiar figures. Hanging out in the classical section these record nerds, as I called them, were long on opinions and short on actual musical ability. Mr. Ungerheuer falls squarely into that category. If there’s nothing worth saying, he can always be counted on to say it.

  4. MWnyc says:

    The Times report made very clear that Fleming’s “retirement” was only from fully-staged opera and that she would continue to concertize. Nothing new that way in the Vanity Fair piece.

    1. Eric says:

      Completely agree. If you read the NY Times piece, it’s clear. The VF piece says it differently, but they both make the same point.

    2. Max Grimm says:

      When it comes to Renée Fleming and the topic of “retirement” it seems that there is no such thing as “very clear”. Different reports state different things although they were written within a short time of each other and Mrs. Fleming herself has occasionally made contradictory statements in short order (in the case of two interviews with German press, it went from ‘yes, planing it out’ to ‘no, haven’t thought about it’ in less than 24 hours) .

  5. AMetFan says:

    Who really cares? Just a lot of old men shouting at the moon. Get a hobby. It’s Fleming’s life and career, and she has managed it her own way. Having worked with many musicians in my professional life, most just wait for it to happen. It rarely does without a plan and plenty of nerve.

  6. boringfileclerk says:

    She’s becoming the Celine Dion of Oprah. Either retire, or don’t. The choice should be that simple

    1. Bruce says:

      “Either retire, or don’t.”

      Actually it’s a pretty common career move to retire from staged opera but continue to sing recitals. Leontyne Price sang for 10-15 years after retiring from opera.

      1. Nick says:

        Dame Janet Baker did the same although for a shorter time after giving up opera, It’s not uncommon.

        1. Petros Linardos says:

          Agreed.

          Aging singers have a lot to offer, as long they mature musically and intellectually. Sometimes they even compensate for some loss in beauty of vocal timbre. I felt that way for Fischer-Dieskau, but not for Pavarotti.

  7. Pedro says:

    Renée Fleming is a superb artist. I have ever heard her in 12 opera roles and several concerts with major conductors such as Christie, Gergiev, Abbado, Eschenbach, Pappano and Thielemann, among many others. Though her voice is not what it was, she will be very much regretted by me and other many fans.

  8. Stephen says:

    This used to be known as “Doing a Melba”.


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