Renee Fleming: I may quit opera in 2018

Renee Fleming: I may quit opera in 2018


norman lebrecht

November 12, 2014

The soprano, 55, tells Reuters she’s booked for three more years of new productions, but after that she might give up opera.

I’m really happy with my opera life – 54 roles was a lot to learn and perform and so I think I may leave well enough alone. I have another three years of various new productions and so I’m not stopping yet – let’s not put the cart before the horse, but I’m thinking down the road.’

She enjoys the stadium life, she added.



  • Marshall says:

    I’m sorry if I’m out of touch. But what is the “stadium life” that she enjoys so much?

  • Milka says:

    Maybe she means the mess she made
    of the national anthem at her last
    stadium venture .One was hoping for a date earlier than 2018 … alas
    it seems not to be , but we
    do have a sell by shelf date to look
    forward to .

    • Harold Lewis says:

      Of course, ‘Milka’ doesn’t care two cents about the US National Anthem or how it’s sung. Just another manifestation of the incurable mental illness that affects ‘her’.

  • Lloyd Arriola says:

    Too many Fleming bashers in the world. She is more than a good singer, she is an artist. The naysayers can just blow…
    Fleming brings artistry and good taste and class every time she sings. Is her artistry filled with burning intensity a la Cerquetti or Callas or Ponselle? Perhaps not, but we who have a liking for Miss Fleming oww her a huge debt of gratitude for just being a first class singer whose exploration of the repertoire is a thing of wonder. And she always sings with tremendous beauty, even nobility.

    Screw the naysayers–they’re drunk. Renee Fleming is a treasure. When she retires from the operatic stage, we will all be the poorer for it.

    • Christy says:

      Ms. Fleming is too popular for those who like their opera elite and too down-to-earth for those who like it pretentious. It matters not how much she does to increase classical music’s reach, or how many children will get music education because of her efforts, or how many younger opera fans first became opera fans when they saw her – and only her – on shows like 60 Minutes, David Letterman and Sesame Street. It matters not that, until this year, there was one single opera singer able to get on any “regular” television or mentioned in any non-opera news.

      She is too “normal,” too friendly, too smiley, too so many things that many opera fans (particularly those who came of age in 1955) don’t appreciate. For that, she should be despised and must be ruthlessly criticized whenever possible.

      • Don Ciccio says:

        Well, she wasn’t *that* friendly when I met her once backstage. Yes, she was tired after the performance, but other artists that I dealt with were more pleasant and did not cultivate the “friendly image” the way Ms. Fleming does.

        Having said that, count me in as someone who overall appreciates her artistry and who will miss here when she will retired.

    • Susan Trexel says:

      The naysayers can just blow…

      Nice talk, this informed opinion of yours. What do you do for an encore, punch someone in the mouth?

      • norman lebrecht says:

        Quit the trolling. You have been suspended.

        • norman lebrecht says:

          I have reluctantly suspended three regular posters for persistent trolling and abuse. Read the rules: stick the the issues, and stay polite. Please.

        • norman lebrecht says:

          We have reluctantly, and after due warning, suspended three regular posters for persistent trolling and abuse. Read the rules: stick the the issues, and stay polite. Please. It’s not that hard.

    • Richard Cumming-Bruce says:

      Exactly! One of, if not the most, beautiful lyric soprano voices in recent memory, and an unfailing credit to her profession and herself off stage too. She will be much missed.

  • Melba says:

    Blow the wind southerly Milka!

  • Christy says:

    I just finished another article on Ms. Fleming. She’s is unbelievably busy off the opera stage. No wonder she is leaving it.

    “Fleming’s achievements as Lyric creative consultant have resulted from regular Chicago visits, six to seven times annually and generally lasting two or three activity-crammed days, during which her driven persona dominates. A typical two-day schedule last spring began on May 8 with a crush of Lyric appointments, morning and afternoon, before a dinner dance at the Palmer House Hilton to benefit the Merit School. At that event, Fleming received the Alice S. Pfaelzer Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts “for her outstanding leadership in supporting accessible, high-quality arts education in Chicago and nationwide.”


    Very well said, Lloyd Ariola!

    • Lloyd Arriola says:

      Thanks. The opera world has its strange fruit. Fierce loyalty is ever-present. But it’s so weird how Renee Fleming seems to be derided by certain sections of opera campers as some kind of “poseur”, a female Paul Potts, or one that simply does not belong to the opera club. Ah, the bullies are, as usual, brown shirt Mosleyite Fascists.


        and I’m sorry that I misspelt your surname!

      • Richard Cumming-Bruce says:

        NOT derided by me, or by ANY the friends with whom I go to the opera and concert. One of the great icons of the musical world, both as an artist and as a person, in my experience.

        I’ve been enchanted since she sang the finest Countess in Figaro and the finest Fiordiligi I’ve ever heard live, at Glyndebourne, and she has never once disappointed me or let me down.

  • Ellen McPherson says:

    It is so refreshing to find a site that banishes trolls. Thank you so much.

  • James says:

    Time will tell. But I am pretty sure she will be remembered for four amazing roles. The Mozart Countess. The Strauss Marchallin. The Strauss Daphne. Tha Strauss Ariadne. The last two may seem counterintuitive, but I believe they represent her greatest contribution to opera.