On the company's 35th birthday, Renée Fleming joins LA Opera as Advisor for Special Projects
The superstar soprano will perform with the company each year for the next three seasons
(Los Angeles) October 7, 2021 — It's a day of double celebration for LA Opera. Thirty-five years to the day since its very first performance, the company is looking to the future with a starry addition to its leadership team. Soprano Renée Fleming, one of the greatest opera artists of our time, is taking on a new role with the company, joining LA Opera as Advisor for Special Projects through the end of the 2023/24 season.
In that capacity, she will perform on the LA Opera stage at least once per season, commencing with Kevin Puts' The Brightness of Light in 2022. While in residence, she will also focus on the connections between music and health, a subject she has long championed. This builds upon her previous work in Los Angeles, including her 2018 and 2019 presentations of Music and the Mind, co-presented by LA Opera and multiple community healthcare partners. In the current season, Fleming and LA Opera will spearhead an arts and health week in June, as part of which Fleming will, among other things, host and moderate an event at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
“I am so excited to have this productive new role at LA Opera,” said Fleming. “In addition to furthering collaborations with the vibrant healthcare and research communities in Los Angeles, I look forward to being part of an exceptionally creative opera company, with a unique place in an entertainment capital of the world.”
"This is an incredible opportunity for us to strengthen our collaboration with a beloved colleague who is a tireless advocate for the power of the arts in health and healing," said Christopher Koelsch, President and CEO. "As both an artist and thought leader in the field, Renée brings a vast array of experience, deep artistic curiosity, exquisite taste and an extraordinary network of classical music connections through which she'll help to advance the cause of LA Opera. She will help create a large and inclusive network of arts and medical partners, all committed to working together for the health and well-being of the Los Angeles community."
About Renée Fleming
Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. Honored with four Grammy® awards and the U.S. National Medal of Arts, Renée has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014, she became the first classical artist ever to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl.
Renée’s latest album, Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, with Yannick Nézet-Seguin as pianist, will be released by Decca this week. A collection of classic songs and specially commissioned world premieres, the album focuses on nature as both inspiration and casualty of humans. Her voice is featured on the soundtracks of Best Picture Oscar winners The Shape of Water and The Lord of the Rings.
In recent years, Renée has become known as a leading advocate for research at the intersection of arts, health, and neuroscience, giving presentations with scientists and practitioners around the world, and winning Research!America’s Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion. Her new project Healing Breath, in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture and the Kennedy Center, enlists vocal stars from around the world to share their favorite breathing exercises, for the benefit of anyone recovering from respiratory difficulties, including COVID-19, In 2020, Renée launched Music and Mind LIVE, a weekly online interview show exploring the connections between arts, human health, and the brain, amassing nearly 700,000 views, from 70 countries.
Her LA Opera appearances include Violetta in La Traviata (2006), Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (2014), Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza (2019) and numerous recital and concert appearances. She has previously collaborated with LA Opera Connects to create large scholarship events at USC and at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and to convene the company's Opera for Life health partners—including Keck School of Medicine, City of Hope, Rancho Los Amigos and the Veterans Administration—to share program design, best practices and learning.
Artistic Advisor-at-Large to the Kennedy Center, Renée also leads SongStudio at Carnegie Hall. She is Co-Director of the Aspen Opera Center and VocalArts at the Aspen Music Festival. Renée’s other awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
Learn more at ReneeFleming.com.
About LA Opera
Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be, with thrilling performances, thought-provoking productions and innovative programming that preserves foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling. The communal and curative power of opera is needed now more than ever before, given the extraordinary challenges of the time.
As LA Opera returns to the stage with world-class productions in theaters, the company continues to offer a wide range of digital content via its LA Opera On Now platform, which has accumulated more than 920,000 views since launching in the spring of 2020. The company is grateful to its supporters for helping to ensure that it has the resources needed to get through this unprecedented period. Those wanting to support LA Opera can visit LAOpera.org/donate.
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