HOT TOPIC: Is Renée Fleming Retiring???!

On April 5th, a New York Times published an article (by Charles McGrath), lamenting opera diva Renée Fleming's departure from the world of staged opera. Although Fleming has announced that she will indeed be departing from staged opera productions, she says that she will still "continue to sing full-time" and that "the rumor [of her retirement] has taken on a life of its own". In the article, although it was stated that Fleming will be moving away only from staged opera productions and not from the stage in general, it was not made clear and a lot of people misinterpreted the article.
Screenshot from Deceptive Cadence NPR Classical Article (source link below)
According to NPR, rumors of Fleming's 'retirement' have been going around for some time now. Because of this, many of Fleming's opera fans were misled by the article of the New York Times. Fleming says that "[t]here's been press about this now for last couple of years floating around." She also added that these rumors most probably started with a London paper, but she assures her fans that these rumors are inaccurate. Renée Fleming will not be retiring from singing. She will be stepping aside from staged operas because she is concerned with the fact that her voice type, a lyric soprano, and the roles typically done by lyric sopranos (young girls) will not suite her visual appearance.

Fleming says: "Unfortunately, the repertoire for my voice is mostly young girls. And it's really important at this point, in the day of HD, to make sure that you're not too far away from that ideal. I can still sing Rusalka and a lot of the Massenet repertoire. But would I? No, at this point."

Fleming did, however, say she really liked the New York Times article.

"I'm not upset. I think the profile is wonderful. It's one of the more balanced portrayals in that [Charles McGrath] sort of got who I am."

Renée Fleming will be focusing on concerts, recitals, and recordings. She will not be leaving the stage completely, as stated, as Fleming herself said regarding the stabbing headline, in the "controversial" New York Times article

Renée Fleming will be singing Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier (April13-May13) at the Metropolitan Opera.


Vanity Fair 
Classical MPR


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