20 years later: Renee Fleming Continues to Captivate Audiences

Renee Fleming(Photo: Andrew Eccles for Decca)
Renee Fleming(Photo: Andrew Eccles for Decca)

As we all know, getting started in a career is often as much about timing as it is about talent.  Being in the right place at the right time.  You are likely familiar with Pavarotti’s story.

Renee Fleming’s break came when a soprano who was to perform in Mozart’s Idomeneo at Tanglewood decided the role was “not right for her.”

The singer’s manager called Evans Mirageas, who was coordinating a summer of Mozart with Seiji Ozawa, to tell him that he had lost a soloist just weeks before opening, but that he had an ace up his sleeve.  There was this young soprano named Renee who could sing the role.  With no time for an audition, Mirageas hired her sight-unseen.

Read Evans Mirageas’ account of the event here

Below Renee Fleming Sings Mozart’s Laudamus te

Preserving the Future:  American Composers Orchestra

Michael Geller, Executive Director of the American Composers Orchestra, says good concerts are great, but they are more about moving music forward than performance.  One way they do that is by giving readings of new compositions so composers can actually hear how their work sounds.

Read Composing a More Useful Future (NY Times)

Step aside Ms. Pacman:  Video game music grows up

If the term video game music evokes memories of beeps, bloops, and tinny sounds, it might be time for a refresher course.

In a conversation with composer Sean Beeson some time back, he said that telling someone you wrote music for video games usually brought conversations to a halt, followed by questions about what you did for a “real job.”  If you are a gamer, however, you know that video game music has grown up and moved out of Mom’s basement.

Beeson (who prefers the term composer for media) has recently written Prometheus Rapture, a snare drum concerto composed for percussionist Evelyn Glennie.  Some are now calling video game soundtracks concept albums.

Read Are Video Game Soundtracks the New Concept Albums? (The Guardian)

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