Capriccio (concert version) - Royal Opera House, 19 July 1013
The star of this low-key end to Covent Garden's up-and-down season had to be Renee Fleming's frock. The silvery sequinned Vivienne Westwood couture gown, not unlike the one she sported for her 2011 Met run, shimmered enticingly against the mens' drab concert garb.
Who's the silver fox with his tongue in Renee Fleming's ear?
Why, it's none other than the Prez.
Barack Obama presented America's go-to soprano with the highest award
artists can receive from the U.S. government, the National Medal of Arts, at the White House this afternoon.
“Known to many as ‘the people’s diva,’ Ms. Fleming has captivated
audiences around the world with an adventurous repertoire spanning
opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop,” the
Other recipients this year included Tony Kushner and George Lucas.
Renée Fleming is to perform an intimate one-off gig at Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre on 4 November to mark the beginning of her Humanitas Visiting Professorship (thanks to reader James for the tip-off). Appearing with her is the Oxford Philomusica conducted by Marios Papadopoulos. The programme has yet to be announced.
Tickets cost from £15 to £50 and can be bought on the Oxford Playhouse website. I strongly suggest you book soon; tickets went on sale today with almost no publicity and already many are gone.
As the seating details are not clear on the booking site, you may like to take a look at the photo and seating plan below before slapping down any money.
Renée Fleming /Maciej Pikulski - Barbican, 9 December 2012
Who knew Renee Fleming had a sense of humour? She poked fun at her own OTT golden gown - "I wanted you to get the Klimt connection." She paused between songs to join the bronchial audience in a spot of coughing - "I have a cold too, so I sympathise!". She flubbed her words in one of the encores, then threw up her hands and giggled before starting over.
In place of the threatened Messiaen and Dutilleux come the more box office-friendly Mahler, Wolf, Korngold and Zemlinsky. That may help shift a few more tickets for the surprisingly slow-selling event. (As might dropping ticket prices, which seem to have doubled since her last visit).