One of the most beloved and celebrated singers of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony in 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist.
Winner of the 2013 Grammy® Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo (her fourth), she brought her voice to a vast new audience in 2014, as the first classical artist ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. As a musical statesman, Renée has been sought after on numerous distinguished occasions, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the 2014 televised concert at the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2012, in an historic first, she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II.
In January 2009, Renée was featured in the televised We Are One: The Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial concert for President Obama. A ground-breaking distinction came in 2008 when Renée became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.
In April 2018, Renée made her Broadway musical debut in a major revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, for which she earned a Tony Award Nomination. In 2017, she brought her acclaimed portrayal of the Marschallin in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera, in a new production by director Robert Carsen. A DVD of that performance was recently released by Decca. Her current recital and concert schedule spans the globe, including Budapest, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, London, Madrid, Helsinki, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
Renée was featured on the soundtrack of two Best Picture and Best Soundtrack nominees at the 2018 Academy awards, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and The Shape of Water, which won both prizes. Renée will be heard as the singing voice of Roxane, played by Julianne Moore, in the upcoming film of the best-selling novel Bel Canto. This fourteen-time Grammy nominated artist has recorded everything from Strauss’s complete Daphne to the jazz album Haunted Heart to the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
In spring 2017, Renée’s album Signatures was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for the National Recording Registry, as an “aural treasure worthy of preservation as part of America’s patrimony.” This fall, Decca will release Renee Fleming: Broadway, a new album of great musical theater songs from the 1920’s to the present day. Her first-ever holiday album, Christmas in New York, was released in 2014, and was the inspiration for a special on PBS.
In 2016, Renée was appointed Artistic Advisor for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Seeking to champion the work being done nationally—both in the medical community and within the arts world—at the intersection of health and the arts, Renée has spearheaded the first ongoing collaboration between America’s national cultural center and its largest health research institute, the National Institutes of Health. In association with the National Endowment for the Arts, Sound Health brings together leading neuroscientists, music therapists and arts practitioners to better understand the impact of arts on the mind and body.
Inspired by the Sound Health initiative, Renée has created a presentation called Music and the Mind, exploring the power of music as it relates to health and the brain. Topics include childhood development, music therapy, and cognitive neuroscience. Since September 2017, Renée has presented Music and the Mind in 14 cities around the country.
In 2013, Renée joined with the Kennedy Center to present American Voices, a concert and 3-day festival celebrating the best American singing in all genres. The festival was the subject of a Great Performances documentary on PBS. In 2017, Renée led a similar cross-genre celebration of singing and community, Chicago Voices, at Lyric Opera of Chicago, with a gala concert telecast on public television.
Renée has twice sung in the National Memorial Day Concert, and she also appeared in the 2018 A Capitol Fourth concert, all with the National Symphony Orchestra, telecast from the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Renée has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman (famously singing the Top Ten List), The Martha Stewart Show, Sesame Street, Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…, The View and Prairie Home Companion (as “Renata Flambé.”)
Renée’s recent opera dvds include Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Dvořák’s Rusalka, Verdi’s Otello, Handel’s Rodelinda, and Massenet’s Thaïs, all in the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series, as well as Strauss’s Arabella and Ariadne auf Naxos, Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, and Verdi’s La Traviata, filmed at London’s Royal Opera House.
Renée Fleming is a champion of new music and has performed works by a wide range of contemporary composers, including recent compositions by André Previn, Caroline Shaw, Kevin Puts, Anders Hillborg, Henri Dutilleux, Brad Mehldau, and Wayne Shorter. Among her numerous awards are Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit; the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal; Sweden’s Polar Prize; the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur from the French government; Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music; and honorary doctorates from Northwestern University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School.
Renée’s book, The Inner Voice, an intimate account of her career and creative process, was published by Viking Penguin in 2004. The paperback edition is now in its sixteenth printing.
In 2010, Renée was named the first-ever Creative Consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she is also a member of the Board and a Vice President. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Board of Sing for Hope, the Board of Trustees of Asia Society, and the Artistic Advisory Board of the Polyphony Foundation, which works to bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel by creating a common ground where young people come together around classical music.