Cher Public

La Cieca celebrates her birthday early this year

fleming_fall_thumb“On her new album, Dark Hope, opera star Renee Fleming takes a ‘visit to a new, parallel universe.’ … Dark Hope finds ‘The People’s Diva’ covering songs by Muse, Arcade Fire, The Mars Volta, Death Cab For Cutie, Leonard Cohen, Band Of Horses, and more.”

And! Singing backup vocals, Fleming daughters Sage and Vermouth!

And! A photo of La Scoopenda heavily clonetooled and hair-extended! [American Song Writer]

  • I cannot even handle this. It’s just too easy for me to imagine exactly what each and every one of these covers will sound like. That freaking Arcade Fire song, I can HEAR her voice attack the first consonant (passion!), tremble (desperation!) and then swell (determination!), as she over-phrases the line, “Who’s goooooonna reset, the boooooone?” and I want to say to her, do you HEAR how RIDICULOUS you sound singing that? And hell I haven’t even heard how ridiculous she sounds singing that.


  • Dan -- I too, am afeard for the Arcade Fire. and as I said to someone on opera-l, Hallelujah has been covered a MILLION times by some really good artists -- I have this horrible fear she is going to try and channel Tori, and it is just going to say FAIL.

  • javier

    When I get the album I’ll be hearing all of the songs for the first time so I won’t have in my mind how they ought to sound.

    • Then you are doing the singers a disservice, and are proving how much of a fool you really are.

      As many great versions of Hallelujah as there are(just to pick but the one song in the list that I know), ignoring Cohen’s original version is like dismissing a diamond because you have a zirconia.

      What will be next? I’ll throw away all my ABBA because now I have RF’s versions of all their songs. I can not wait for her to record the entire Beatles catalog so I can get rid of it too; and next year is Elvis.

      Sweetie, your blind adoration is getting old.

      • javier

        According to you, I don’t see it the way you do so I must be blind. Well, according to me, you get too worked up, so you must be KrAzY. :D

        • Of course i am crazy, but at least when i speak in my craziness i back up my arguments with well researched, well thought information, not with bull that it would take all of 3 seconds to refute with a search in google.

          Add to that comments like: well, i do not need to hear any other version now that RF will record hers. I do not need to bother with the rest, since hers will be the one i own and it is painfully obvious to the rest of the world that you are indeed blind.

          I do not criticize you for liking her. I love Callas above all else, but I do not go in the web, or in a website claiming that she never had an issue, or that her recordings will eclipse every recording of every soprano ever made (some do, some don’t and some are plain unlistenable). I criticize you for not keeping an objective ear and for having the absurdity of thinking that you come here as some kind of expert on renee Fleming just because you have 5 recordings of hers and have gone to 4 performances in your life.

          The fact that you only have personal attacks on me confirms that you do not have any arguments to give validity to your argument.

        • javier

          But it didn’t say those things.

          All I said was…

          it doesn’t even deserve re-stating, just scroll up.

        • I know what you said: you clearly stated that you didn’t need to explore the repertoire she is recording: I won’t have in my mind how they ought to sound. Let’s marry your words and your past behavior and statements in this site:

          translation: Now that she has recorded the rep, I don’t need how these pieces need to sound because her recording will eclipse everything.

          Alternate translation: I refuse to go and listen to the how the rep ought to sound because if I do, I might find blemishes in her interpretations and thus will have to face the possibility that she is not as perfect as I make her to be.

          See? the problem is that you, like someone I know, insists that his words be taken individually, and not in the context of a greater pattern. Unfortunately for you, you have created a pattern and it is coming to bite you.


          Holy cat bite, LA, I didn’t get any of that from Javier’s posting at all. What I got was sort of that he had no preconceptions of the material and would/could not make any comparisons. You’re proposing the impossible — that one must never listen to any piece of music until one has heard all previous versions.Are you reacting to what he said, to what you think he said, or to what your friend said or did?

        • javier

          No, I think you misread or on second thought, maybe I didn’t articulate it that well enough for you. All I meant is that I have never heard the songs before so I can’t judge her based on the originals.

          I don’t listen to Rock music so I have never heard these songs and until this point I never knew they existed.

          Also, I don’t think she’s perfect and that she eclipses everyone in everything that she does.

          Anyway, I’m mostly easygoing and most of the time I’m joking so don’t get worked up over what I say.

        • nachdover

          Wow, Lindy, you really need to chill. That chip on your shoulder is making you come across as unbalanced. Do you ever read your own posts? Javi said none of what you accuse him of, and worse, you launch by calling him a fool. When he says he has never heard these pieces, and will be discovering them fresh from a favorite singer of his, you just gotta rain on his parade and accuse him of slighting the original performers (Death Cab for Cutie? Really?) for not previewing each original before hearing a cover by the singer of whom you disapprove. Gee, how DARE he? It all goes back to that issue of respecting the tastes of others. If this is what Javi wants to do, let him. You might at least let the damn thing come out before telling everyone how much it has to suck. There is a line between really loving an art, and just being someone whose genuine enjoyment comes from denigrating the taste of those you deem dilettantes. A singer Javi loves might lead him into repertoire he never would have encountered otherwise. To me, that’s all good. And, yes, my very bones have blushed at the covers of some pop songs by legit singers, including Ms. Fleming, as well as Kiri, Anne-Sofie, and countless others further back. But, as a die-hard lover of the Beatles’ music, deeply skeptical of covers of their songs, I can also say Fleming’s cover of “In My Life” revealed things I never found before in the song; and every mis-step on other pieces on that album is worth that track. FOR ME. Doesn’t mean I’m a fool. Doesn’t mean I have no taste. Doesn’t mean I’m uncritical. Doesn’t mean I think the sun shines out anyone’s posterior.

          And we all love our cynicism, me as much as anyone. But for other posters’ assumption that this is about some singer performing a bunch of stuff tossed at her by handlers, I don’t buy that at all. Within the parameters of what a record company will record and release, this is somebody who can sing pretty much what she likes. I’m willing to bet that’s what she’s doing. This is risky repertoire for an opera singer, and she’s guaranteed a fair amount of ridicule. Some of it might even be from me. If there are things that work, I’ll be appreciative of them, too, even if this recording ends up, as one poster said, in a cut-out bin. (That phrase itself is already in a cut-out bin, having very little application to the way music is disseminated today.)

        • Regina delle fate

          Javier clearly likes to get up the Fleming-haters’ noses -- and it works!

      • Alto

        Girls! Girls! You’re BOTH pretty!

    • That won’t change after you hear the album.

  • Mrs Rance

    Oh brother -- now her daughters and her sister.

    Well, Sting sings Dowland. Marilyn Horne sang the Four Last Songs. Sutherland sang Noel Coward.

    I shudder to think how she (ooopps -- I mean her handlers) could top this.

    • Harry

      Call it a alblum by ‘The Fleming Three’ that way we can kid ourseles it has nothing to do with Renee’ the diva.

    • Alto

      How do Horne’s FLSs fit into that list of wonders?

  • MontyNostry

    This news makes me wonder whether I’m the one who’s entered a parallel universe. And I think Renee needs a eat a little. I mean, the woman has had a dessert named after her and a soprano has a right to just a little embonpoint.

  • MontyNostry

    Renee is turning into a sort of operatic Cindy Sherman.

    • Camille

      That is quite thought provoking.

      Being an admirer of Cindy Sherman, as I am, it has to be said that she is an original and fearless and Mme. Flaming is just a hot mess.

  • kashania

    I just barfed a bit in my mouth at the thought of Fleming singing Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. I’ll stick with KD Lang, thank you!

    • No Expert

      kashania, don’t give her any ideas for the follow up album. I can just see the title now: “Constant Haunted Cravings of my Dark Heart: Fleming does Lang live at Carnegie Hall”

  • Lucky Pierre

    renaaaay is going to do lang lang at carnegie? oh my…

  • Clita del Toro

    I have never heard any of the “artists” listed except for Leonard Cohen: (“Arcade Fire, The Mars Volta, Death Cab For Cutie, Leonard Cohen, Band Of Horses, and more.”) Haven’t been interested in popular music since rock ‘n roll came in--way back.
    And I certainly don’t give a sh*t what Renaay records!
    Based on what I’ve heard her sing other than opera, Lieder, etc.--this can only be a “party record”, IMO.
    But, then again, I will never have a chance to find out. LOL

  • Nerva Nelli

    Let the olden carol sound:

    “Renee Fleming is not just one of operas most celebrated sopranos, but perhaps its most convincing actress. A consumate artist, her one and only role when she stands in the spotlight is to breathe so much life into the opera’s main character that audiences lose themselves in her unforgettable performances. That is the passion of Renee Fleming. “

  • Clita del Toro

    “Renee Fleming is not just one of operas most celebrated sopranos, but perhaps its most convincing actress. A consumate artist, her one and only role when she stands in the spotlight is to breathe so much life into the opera’s main character that audiences lose themselves in her unforgettable performances. That is the passion of Renee Fleming. “