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Renée Fleming's Immense Versatility

Posted on: May 23, 2024

Soprano superstar Renée Fleming has had an incredible career that has seen her showcase her immense talent in multiple musical avenues, from opera to Broadway to film. Amidst her busy schedule, Fleming has also found time for philanthropic work and health advocacy. Her impressive versatility and service deserves to be highlighted. With Fleming returning to our stage for a recital on June 15, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of her achievements so you can appreciate this unique and complex artist even more.  

Many of us are familiar with Renée Fleming’s operatic career, but for those unfamiliar, we’ll quickly go over some highlights. Only two years after receiving her graduate degree from Juilliard, she had a major break, winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She quickly moved from singing with regional opera companies to the big leagues, performing signature roles including Violetta in La Traviata, Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and Desdemona in Otello, among many more, on some of the world’s greatest stages, like the Metropolitan Opera, Milan's La Scala and London’s Royal Opera House. She has also displayed her talent on Broadway, most notably with her Tony-nominated star turn as Nettie Fowler in Carousel, and she can be heard on numerous film soundtracks, including The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and The Shape of Water, both of which won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Score.  

Fleming has brought her talent and name recognition to many benefit concerts, starring alongside superstars like Elton John and Andrea Bocelli, and she has served on the boards of multiple music-related foundations. But perhaps her greatest advocacy is for the study of the relationship between music and health and the utility of music in neuroscience research. This started in 2016 when she was appointed Artistic Advisor for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Here she spearheaded Sound Health, which saw the Kennedy Center collaborate with the National Institutes of Health to bring together leading neuroscientists, music therapists and arts practitioners to study the impact of music on the mind and body. This would lead to the National Institutes of Health committing $20 million to support research projects that explore the potential of music for treating a wide range of neurological conditions.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she launched a weekly web series called Music and Mind LIVE that streamed on Fleming’s Facebook page and the Kennedy Center’s YouTube Channel. This series would feature musicians, music therapists and doctors helping spread her advocacy to 665,000 people (about half the population of Hawaii) across 70 countries. Fleming’s continued advocacy for the neurological studies between music and health led her to becoming LA Opera’s Advisor for Special Projects and Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health with the World Health Organization. This has led to her involvement with LA County's annual Arts and Health Week, which sees us teaming up with several organizations across Los Angeles to showcase various art activities that are beneficial for health, and hosting a summit that shares and highlights key moments and information found from that week. This week’s Art and Health Week Summit will be held on Friday, June 14, and the following evening, she will appear in recital; both events will be held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. We can’t imagine a better demonstration of Fleming’s immense versatility as an artist, and we encourage you to experience this living legend’s extraordinary accomplishments for yourself. 

For more on Arts and Health Week click here.

Get tickets for Renée Fleming in Recital by clicking here.