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Jersey girl

When has one “made it?” La Cieca will tell you when one has “made it.” One has “made it” when one is lampooned by that edgiest of all late-night funnymen, Jay Leno.


  • 1
    isoldit says:

    the true highlight of her career, the best thing she has ever done. so much greater than anything she has done in the opera house

    • 1.1
      luvtennis says:

      Nonsense, unless you are being sarcastic. In which case, very funny. :-) Renee’s early Desdemonas were wonderful. She was a marvelous Fiordiligi and good Donna Anna. Her early Rusalkas were magical, and the Pesaro Armida is, on records at least, stunning. Among many other good things to be sure…

      • 1.1.1
        semira mide says:

        Indeed,Renee’s Armida is remembered fondly in Pesaro. Just check out the Rossini Opera Festival’s Facebook page and you’ll see an item about her performance at the game.Good thing the Armida HD from the Met wasn’t shown in Italy ( or so,I’ve been told) it would have been too distressing.

  • 2
    Ilka Saro says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Jay Leno. He seems to have aged into a sort of hybrid of Tip O’Neill with Ted Kennedy’s hair.

    • 2.1
      operaassport says:

      At least Leno is occasionally funny. Has anyone seen Letterman lately? He’s become an unfunny, bitter old man. He makes Parterrians look downright kind and nice. When it comes to bitter bitchiness he makes us look like pussy cats.

  • 3
    OpinionatedNeophyte says:

    If La Cieca redid the Quantification of the Diva now, we would have to give it up to Fleming who represented our beloved artform as well as she could. And no, I haven’t been possessed by Amerj (or maybe I have) but either way, that’s what I think.

    • 3.1
      kashania says:

      Actually, IIRC, La Cieca was quite generous to Renee in the Quantification of the Diva, even praising her potential for grandezza greatness.

  • 4
    Clita del Toro says:

    I haven’t seen this video, but I know that Jay Leno is schmuck.

  • 5
    kashania says:

    I’m not a fan of Jay Leno at all but the voice-over is kinda funny!

  • 6
    CwbyLA says:

    Pretty funny video. She looks wonderful in the picture!

  • 7
    papopera says:

    Leno: big prognathic ham

    • 7.1
      Flora del Rio Grande says:

      Long since gone stale. I know an Iowa mfg. company
      that hired him as a dinner speaker. Fifty grand.

  • 8
    m. croche says:

    After Thursday, you’re not going to have Jay Leno to kick around any more.

  • 9
    antikitschychick says:

    LMAO…she has indeed “made it.” As I said earlier, good for her and good for Opera.

    Some friends were saying on FB that she should have sung the anthem in a higher key (C major instead of A major) so that she would have ended on a high C :-P. I tend to agree with those sentiments, though I’m not sure if she still has that note. I did like how she showed off her lower register though, which has always been superb.

    • 9.1
      CwbyLA says:

      I think it would have been even harder for her to articulate the words (I was going to say libretto) in a higher key.

    • 9.2
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Of course she still has a high c.

    • 9.3
      luvtennis says:


      I think Renee still has a C -- but that would be foolishly risky for her to go for that note on such an occasion. 10 years ago? Probably worth it.

      What is amazing here is this:

      Fleming has now re-invented herself successfully (from a career management perspective) three times. And for a singer in her 50s to attain this level of visibility in the States is incredible.

      I bet Lee was smiling from her salon. She too knew a thing about seizing the moment -- whatever you may think of her late career mannerisms. Debut (historic in nature and execution); the Met debut (major headlines around the world and she survived the madness with her rep.completely intact); the contemporaneous Verdi Reqiuem immortalized on DVD; the Farewell Aidas; the televised Carnegie Zweite Brautnacht when she was mid-60s; the post-911 Carnegie concert.

      Kunst is great. Sacro Fuoco is great. But timing is everything…

      • 9.3.1
        antikitschychick says:

        hey Luv :-).

        I absolutely agree that singing it in a higher key would have been risky and that 10 yrs ago would have been the ideal time for her to take such a risk. Its just that because this was such an important, landmark moment it would have been fun if she would have really “gone for it.” Of course we won’t really know if this set any sort of precedent until a few years from now but its interesting to speculate or at least hope that she did.

        What you say about the timing issue and the fact that she has had a largely successful career is all true, and considering that she is American its only fair that she at least be considered for these types of major American events. When you say Lee I assume you mean Leontyne Price?

  • 10
    CwbyLA says:

    This is Angela Meade’s version of the National Anthem. She sang it last year in a Dodger’s game. I believe she believes in a high C.

    • 10.1
      Grane says:

      Yay! Good for you, Angela.
      Not that Renee didn’t sing well, but it’s a pity the arrangement was so schlocky.

    • 10.2
      CwbyLA says:

      it should say “I believe she finishes in a high C”

    • 10.3
      javier says:

      meade’s version is nice. really, any opera singer is going to sing it well compared to what pop singers usually do.

      i think that sills could have really made something more out of the national anthem. that may not have been a high c from meade, but i think that sills would have dared to go beyond a high c if she had sung it.

      the leno clip was so funny.

      i think fleming has been making it for years. but when jay leno makes fun of you that means you have becoming somewhat of a household name.

    • 10.4
      operaassport says:

      Really bad dress. She needs a gay friend.

    • 10.5
      antikitschychick says:

      excellent rendition…its kind of amazing how ample her singing voice is, range-wise and when you hear her speak her voice is much higher (placed). The miracles of singing lol. Either that or she’s an alien..a distant relative of Joan Otherland I believe.

      The problem with the dress is that its not tailored for her body. She should have worn pants and a nice blouse me thinks.

  • 11
    -Ed. says:

    Wasn’t the music for the US national anthem borrowed from an old English drinking song? I seem to remember something about that. I know from personal experience that it’s a lot easier to sing that thing after you’ve had a few belts. And it sound better then, too..

    I don’t own a TV so I decided to go watch the Super Bowl in a bar. I thought Renée did just fine, but my favorite and most memorable experience that night was meeting the guy sitting on the stool next to me. We’re going to the symphony together this Friday. And he’s an opera newbie, so I’m taking him to La Bohème in April. And you know what it was that got us engaged in conversation? Renée. So I kinda owe her!

    • 11.1
      Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      The orchestrator of the Superbowl 2014 version sent this comment to Slipped Disc: “For those interested it is written as a waltz. In other words it is in 3. “Oh oh say can you see by the 1-2-3-1-2-3?. It is ever so occasionally expanded to be in 4, though rarely. Renée wanted the beginning to really suggest an openness and purity and she wanted to float above it. Putting the first two stanzas in 4/4 time gave her that room she wanted. I went to the traditional 3/4 time after “Rocket’s Red Glare”—gave “proof through the night” etc etc. Into 3 we went for a traditional barn storming close. What an absolute trip to hear it in the midst of all that madness. Giant Bud Light cans and bombs and women on horses and rockets. You name it. Renée gave it her all and just hit it out of the park I think.”

    • 11.2
      CwbyLA says:

      that is such a nice story Ed. I hope you have fun with your new guy in the symphony, La Boheme and beyond!

    • 11.3
      Regina delle fate says:

      Things like that never happen to me. I should go to more Renée performances, probably.

      • 11.3.1
        Cocky Kurwenal says:

        You should Regina -- I met a man at a Renee Rosenkavalier at the ROH, so it definitely isn’t an isolated incident.

    • 11.4
      operaassport says:

      Good for you! Another Renee story with a happy ending :)

    • 11.5
      Spen says:

      Good to hear Ed, have fun!

  • 12
    Poison Ivy says:

    Leno is so unfunny. I always feel like he’s some D-list Catskills stand-up who somehow made it to the Tonight Show. How he did it I have no idea, as he’s NOT FUNNY.

    Everyone else who has made it to late night I find funny. Conan, Jimmy Fallon, Dave, Jimmy Kimmel, they’re all funny in their way. But Jay is just a lump of nothing.

  • 13
    Spen says:

    I love how she says ”IMAAAGINE”.

    • 13.1
      olliedawg says:

      Jay Leno is, thankfully, going away from our nighttime lineup. No reason to belabor his lameness any further. Renee is way too classy for his feeble attempts at poking fun of her to stick. She’s Teflon, he’s duck tape.

      • 13.1.1
        Clita del Toro says:

        Renee certainly is teflon:
        Teflon® is a brand of polytetrafluoroethylene , a solid polymer that is considered to be one of the world’s most slippery substances. :)

  • 14
    uwsinnyc says:

    I think the very fact that she was invited to sing-- and that an opera singer got such a mega-mainstream venue — trumps everything else.

    I thought she did a great job and felt very very proud despite the somewhat peculiar and changing rhythm.

    • 14.1
      PetertheModest says:

      Has this set a precedent ? Will there be more to follow ?

      • 14.1.1
        uwsinnyc says:

        I hope so but can’t see it happening again for another few years.

      • 14.1.2
        CwbyLA says:

        Yes, it has PetertheModest. I hope you have seen the headlines on CNN that every major sports league will be inviting opera singers to sing the national anthem from now on.

        Also, in the three days since the performance, the number of students enrolled in vocal programs has doubled. ALL the opera houses sold their remaining tickets and majority of them added extra performances. Isn’t it incredible?

        I mean imagine where we would have been if the performance hasn’t taken place. Thankfully, we had low expectations from this 2 minute performance.

          Clita del Toro says:

          I am selling my condo and giving the money to LOC, just because Renee sang at the Super Bowl. Renee has saved opera for at least the next 150 years. I can die happy!

          • CwbyLA says:

            Clita, since you are in such a generous spirit, may I offer to buy your condo from you and pay you back with Fleming albums? I’ll throw in her book to sweeten the deal. ;-)

          • Flora del Rio Grande says:

            Clita, tut tut!! Too soon for you to die. You are one of our Icons. You must spend more time with Renee; I can tell she fulfills some of your emotional needs. She IS an awfully nice person.
            Love ya! Dolores del Rio Grande, or similar.

    • 14.2
      Camille says:


      • 14.2.1
        Flora del Rio Grande says:

        Clita! I’ll outbid Cowboy and throw in a
        prostate massage in addition. Come on out to
        Palm Springs, where we are freezing to death
        at night this week, for demonstration.
        Yrs, FLORA del Cactus

          Clita del Toro says:

          Flora, my partner and I have been actually thinking of visiting Palm Springs, LOL

    • 14.3
      olliedawg says:

      uwsinnyc: Yes about everything you said, including the strange rhythm.

  • 15
    MontyNostry says:

    Now Renee has had her prolonged moment of glory on here, I felt I had just had to post this alternative diva (or aspiring diva) version — plus bilingual Canadian anthem …

    • 15.1
      Camille says:

      Well, I finally got through it this time.
      Oh dear, the poor Measha the Bgurl just doesn’t get it, does she?

      At least, you could hear her: when she sang the Wesendonck Lieder at Carnegie Hall she just brought a wisp of a voice that evening. Lovely yellow gown and behaved and waved like a queen, though.

      I heard she had had heart problems—perhaps that is a part of it…….?

      • 15.1.1
        MontyNostry says:

        She has a major operation for something like an aneurysm a few years ago.
        I saw her in recital in 2006 and really liked it, but when I saw again a few years later she had become more than somewhat mannered and the voice seemed to have lost focus. A shame, because she certainly has something.

      • 15.1.2
        pobrediablo says:

        “Lemme hear you!!”

    • 15.2
      olliedawg says:

      She brings to mind what I believe was Judy Garland’s standard line when visiting colleagues post-performance: “Darling, how do you do what you do?”

  • 16

    Renée Fleming made it back by swimming across the icy Hudson to sing Rusalka at the Met on Tuesday night. The review on Superconductor.