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Subject: Re: Miss Fleming and Thais
From: [log in to unmask]
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 6 Apr 2009 15:11:03 EDT

text/plain (68 lines)

In a message dated 4/6/2009 2:41:19 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Mme.  Fleming's singing over the past season, esp. of Thais.
After opening night,  when she seemed tired, I thought it the best singing I 
heard from  her in almost a decade. Voice professionals, from a retired
music and voice  professional in Vermont to a current voice teacher in San  
agreed with that idea, and one of them said to me, "That  (Thais/lyric 
is where her voice wants to be."  To my ear,  it brought out the very best
of her talent - her lovely floating tone, her  poise and her marvelous range.
I am not talking about acting or style or  the Met's over-the-top production,
I am speaking strictly about  vocalization. She again this season displayed 
voice most favorably  in the Dvorak opera at the Met, and even about a
month ago in the Korngold  aria in the Met's Gala (though she was making
the voice a bit heavy for  that aria). How many lyric sopranos do you know
at age-50 who seem to enjoy  such enduring vocal quality and performing
energy? Contrary to what a lot  of snipers seem to be posting, I would
suggest Fleming is enjoying a  late-career renaissance; maybe it's just 
choice of roles, and  perhaps Violetta at ROH this summer and Marschallin
next season will not  suit her as well; but, right now, I think the soprano
is at the top of her  game. 

It is most coincidental that Jim's fine, appreciative post appears now, for  
something remarkable about my perception about Renee's singing during that 
past  2 months has happened (Renee easier than writing Miss Fleming over and  
over).  During that time I have watched, first, Thais from a TV  broadcast and 
then her 2007 Zurich Arabella.  I hate to make this sound  like a left-handed 
compliment (for a fat person, you don't sweat much), but  here goes.  I have 
never cared all that much for Renee.  I have  not found her voice particularly 
commanding in all the traditional roles  by whom I have dozens of sopranos whom 
I like better.  I have never  found her particularly attractive; rather, in 
fact, finding her sometimes a bit  funny looking, even in some of her print 
advertisements. (though all that  stuff seems to imply that there is a consensus 
that she is glamorous if not  downright beautiful).   Now for the good part.  
Like Jim, I  was amazed by her Thais.  I found her to be personally lovely and 
vocally  beautiful.  And then I found her to be likewise in one of my favorite 
 operas, Arabella.  On that DVD which I downloaded, at age 50 she deliveres  
a convincing portrait of a 20-year old girl who is becoming a wise woman.   
Her voice is clear, and her acting is splendid.  In toto, I have suddenly  
become a fan of Renee about whom I have in the past been at the best neutral and  
at the worst somewhat negative. I will now go back and try to hear and see  
some of her past performances to see what I might have missed.  And I will  await 
her coming new roles with positive anticipation.  "Enduring vocal  quality 
and performing energy."   A fine phrase, Jim.  Thank  you.
Bill Clayton
**************Feeling the pinch at the grocery store?  Make dinner for $10 or 
less. (

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