La Diva Renée Fleming took a break from opera, or more likely squeezed in some time in her already overwhelmingly busy schedule, to record an album of pop and rock covers. It's titled Dark Hope and will be released on June 8th. It's available for pre-order via Amazon. While, I'm unfamiliar with most of these tunes, I have no doubt that it will be a hit with me.
Renée has one of my favorite voices, hands down. I love her creamy operatic soprano on the arias from Manon, Der Rosenkavalier, Eugene Onegin, etc...but I also love her voice on the Broadway and jazz covers. She shows off on Rodgers & Hammerstein or Lerner & Lowe, but takes it down to sensual and warm on the jazz.
Her first departure from jazz was Haunted Heart, one of my favorite albums hands down. I was lucky enough to see her perform songs from that album at the intimate Joe's Pub. Renée knows her ways around a jazz standard: when was still in college, she was invited by Illinois Jacquet to tour with him. Fortunately for opera lovers, she didn't take him up on the invitation. But she did reunite with him on WNYC's Soundcheck in 2003, an episode I often return to time and time again.
In "Renée Fleming: Diva goes to the dark side", Peter Conrad of The Observer , via guardian.co.uk covers the why and how of getting this project off the ground - especially why this particular diva. Renée also discussed the project with Jamie-James Medina via guardian.co.uk:
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Renée Fleming: Dark Hope
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While it would be prejudicial and fruitless to discount the merits of a project such as this without first hearing it, I must say that I earnestly hope that Renee will release an opera recital disc later this year. I did not greatly enjoy her Haunted Heart album from 2005, so, naturally, I am a trifle hesitant to accept this latest release. Do you think she shall release a classical disc later this year, or are you of the opinion that this is all we shall receive?
As a mondo RF fan, I'll give it a listen!
Like you, I've never heard of most of the songs, but if Ms. Renee is singing them, I'm there!
SarahB, I KNEW you would be able to shine a light on DARK HOPE. This is your old amici "NYC Opera Fanatic" (currently exiled in Philly). Glad to see the Fleming Flapping still going strong. BTW, I know two of the songs: "Mad World" by Tears for Fears & "In Your Eyes: by Peter Gabriel. Yes I'm a child of the 80's. I'm also a love child of La Portamenta so I'm getting the disc. Our Renee is above reproach, period. Brava diva!
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