Iron-gloved Renée debuts on an Arab stage

Iron-gloved Renée debuts on an Arab stage


norman lebrecht

March 24, 2014

Renée Fleming’s concert last night in Abu Dhabi was her first in the Arab world. It went well, we read.

Not sure about the arm-length black gloves, though. Must have been a cold wind in the Gulf.

renee fleming gloves


  • Bernie says:

    Not sure about those gloves either. At least they didn’t make her wear a burka…

  • Dr. Wilbur Smithfield III says:


    This was not Renée Fleming’s first concert in the Arab world! She performed at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) in Muscat, Oman on 18th October 2011, together with none other than the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Joana Carneiro.

  • Janine says:

    Probably to cover up a bit more flesh, seeing her lovely but low-cut dress. Maybe a last-minute “intervention” from the management. But her singing is so beautiful that one forgets the gloves. And the dress, rather sober for Fleming.

  • MarieTherese says:

    Ms Fleming wore the same gown and gloves for her joint concert with Jonas Kaufmann in Chicago last week. I’d assume that the designer planned the outfit as a complete ensemble.

  • Neil van der Linden says:

    Bernie, what do you mean? Does anyone else in the Emirates wear a burka?

    By the way I am in Abu Dhabi, where this evening the European Union Orchestra performed under Vladimir Ashkenazy, even if officially this year’s country of focus is the US. That does not mean that we hear Charles or even John Adams, let alone Carter, and this evening it was all Eastern-European, Glinka, Dvorak, Rachmaninov, but Fleming included Gershwin and Berlin.

  • Marguerite Foxon says:

    She wore black gloves last week with Jonas K at Chicago Lyric, I noticed in photos. Musicians look pretty Anglo, not Arab …. and is that a woman behind the centre violinist?

  • So same gloves as in Chicago. Indeed, one sees how easily prejudices prevail when one is not informed. Although indeed some local preferences might have lead to the conclusion to at least wear the same gloves as in Chicago. But I can inform everybody that the temperature in the hall is so air-conditioned, to an even somewhat absurd level, that mrs Fleming will gave been lucky to wear them.

    And yes, that is an imported orchestra, as the UAE, other than Qatar and Oman, have no professional orchestra of their own. The orchestras in Qatar and Oman, like the orchestras in Teheran and Cairo for instance, consist of up to 50 % women. The EU Youth orchestra that performed this evening with Askenazy and Capucon even had about 60 % women; in this respect orchestra musician seems to have become a women’s job in Europe.

    The Qatar orchestra by the way has a female orchestra director/principal conductor, as we have read in this blog several times before.

  • V.Lind says:

    I think the gloves are hideous. Too long.