Ten years ago, during the inaugural season of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, The Cleveland Orchestra began a residency program at the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall.
Each year since, through a series of subscription concerts, education programs, and community engagement activities, more than 20,000 children, students, and adults experience one of the world’s great orchestras (The New York Times hailed The Cleveland Orchestra as “… the best orchestra in America”).
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary season of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami, superstar soprano Renée Fleming will join the orchestra for their gala concert on Saturday, Jan. 23. Although she has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra in Ohio, this will be Renée’s debut with the Cleveland Orchestra Miami.
She will join the orchestra for selections from Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, Puccini’s La Boheme, Verdi’s Otello, as well as Tosti’s song Aprile. In addition, The Cleveland Orchestra will perform works by Mozart, Ravel, and Verdi, and will be conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst.
SFGN spoke with Renée Fleming recently about the upcoming concert, some of her career highlights, and what endeavors she might undertake in the future:
What would you like our readers to know about the pieces you are performing (details not in the program notes)?
Well the Willow song and Ave Maria from Verdi’s Otello I’ve been singing for a long time. The Ave Maria I sang for my debut with Placido Domingo. I was so nervous they practically had to carry me off the stage at the end. And the song Aprile by Tosti was written for soprano, but lately many tenors have been performing it, so I’m taking it back!
If you met someone who is NOT a fan of opera, and they were willing to listen to one piece or go see one opera to give it a chance, what piece and what opera would you recommend?
Listen to the tenor aria Nessun Dorma or the soprano aria O Mio Babbino Caro. As far as operas, go see La Boheme or Carmen.
What do you consider your career highlight?
Performing the National Anthem at the 2014 Superbowl, singing for the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012, and performing at the Beijing Olympics and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies are some of the bigger events that I’ve been thrilled to be a part of. As far a career highlights, I’ve done 54 opera roles and it would be impossible to select which one or ones were highlights.
What non-classical musician would you most want to collaborate with that you have not yet already collaborated with?
That’s a tough question, I really can’t say. I love collaborating with artists outside of my genre and I’ve been fortunate to do so on many occasions. I have a project coming up with a major non-classical artist but I can’t say who yet (so stay tuned).
What classical musician would you most want to collaborate with that you have not yet already collaborated with?
At this point I think I’ve done it all, so I don’t have any names to add to that list.
If you had not pursued a career as a singer, what other field do you think you would have gone into?
Probably business. I’m very creative and I love consulting.
What advice do you have for people who are pursuing their dreams (in any field)?
Work hard, be resilient, never give up on your dreams, and always be prepared for any opportunities that come your way. The level of competition in every field is higher than it’s ever been so you really must stand out.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
ARetired and enjoying martinis on the beach, or somewhere [laughing]. No I really can’t say. Leontyne Price was still performing into her late 60s so maybe I will too.
In addition to the 10th Anniversary Gala concert with Renée Fleming on Jan. 23, The Cleveland Orchestra Miami welcomes pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, who will perform the Schumann Piano Concerto, on concerts Jan. 21 and 22 that will also include the Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, and the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 1 (“Winter Daydreams”). For tickets, visit ClevelandOrchestraMiami.com, or call the box office at 305-949-6722.