Renée Fleming posts stunning tribute to her friend, Lou Reed

Renée Fleming posts stunning tribute to her friend, Lou Reed


norman lebrecht

November 04, 2013

The diva sang with Lou on the 20th anniversary of the Czech Velvet Revolution. Its leader, Vaclav Havel, was a fan of Lou’s Velvet Underground.

Renée has posted the track on her Facebook page.

Watch. Listen. Do not for one moment call it crossover.

renee fleming lou reed


  • Tom Emlyn Williams says:

    Bravo, brava!

  • Una says:

    Better than any crossover!!

  • jazzmanhenry says:

    Not so keen myself. The appeal of the original was its understated beauty. Operatic singing just makes it way over the top and a parody of itself. It’s a bit like the version with loads of stars trying to make their contribution better than everyone else’s. However, Lou clearly allowed it, as he is involved, so who am to criticise him? I just like his laconic delivery on its own with no embellishment. RIP to a great singer and songwriter.

  • Sounds like a race between a go-cart and a Mack truck. Only extreme differences in the microphone amplification allowed this duo to happen. They hardly sound like they’re in the same room. For me, and I understand others will hear it very differently, it illustrates the incomparable glory of the bel canto voice. And I say this, as someone who has spent a lifetime exploring alternatives to bel canto in music theater.

  • Alberto Martinez says:

    what is crossover anyway ? I´m just watching two artists doing what they truly love.

  • Reggie Benstein says:

    Love both of these artists but I couldn’t make it through this clip ….

    • Warren Cohen says:

      me too. RF is capable of, and has on other occasions, used a pop music delivery, but curiously made no attempt to do it here. This was clearly an aesthetic decision made by the singers.For me, this did not work. I found the contrast in sound and delivery and contrast in microphone levels hard to listen to.

  • lwriter says:

    Really beautiful and moving. The sincerity of both artists really comes through. Who was the conductor?

  • paulkelly20 says:

    The BBC Children in Need version was soooo much

    better, even if Lou wasn’t on it.

  • For me it works because the Central Park and Met Opera go together in real life. So this duo has authentic New York vibe to it.