Renee Fleming is already a well-known name among opera enthusiasts. But her name is joining Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Maria Callas as household words nowadays.
Renee Fleming sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII, showing previous pop diva attempters how it’s done. She also “sang” in the recent Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Fleming is a soprano, and will open a new opera production on New Year’s Eve at the Metropolitan Opera called “The Merry Widow.” But it is Fleming’s upcoming activity only 20 blocks away from the Met that is turning heads.
Fleming has been cast in her first Broadway show, “Living on Love,” written by Joe DiPietro, who also did “Memphis.” In the play, Fleming does not stray too far from real life. She is cast as Raquel De Angelis, an opera singer. The interesting thing about this show for Fleming, is that it is actually not a musical, but a comedy.
The character of Raquel De Angelis is described as a temperamental diva. She and her husband, who is a conductor, end up at odds when he falls for a woman hired to help write his memoirs.
“I’ve spent my life singing tragic characters, so to be able to make people laugh is an extraordinary joy,” said Fleming.
“I would have assumed that my only road to Broadway would have been in a musical. And I knew that I couldn’t sing eight shows a week – we’re trained in such a different way. Like weightlifters, we need those two days off,” said Fleming. “So it wasn’t on my list of things to do. Sometimes the most interesting things come out of the blue, in love and in life.”