Renee Fleming extends her tenure as “creative consultant” for Lyric Opera

SHARE Renee Fleming extends her tenure as “creative consultant” for Lyric Opera

General director Anthony Freud announced today that Lyric Opera of Chicago has extended its agreement with soprano Renée Fleming to serve as its creative consultant for the next two years.

Ms. Fleming’s original five-year contract with Lyric began in 2010, when she became Lyric’s first creative consultant. According to a statement from the opera company, “This contract renewal allows for a seamless continuation of M. Fleming’s work with Lyric, where she serves on the Lyric Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and as an advisor to The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Lyric’s professional young artist development program.”

In a prepared statement, Freud noted: “During her first term as creative consultant Renée has designed enormously valuable projects in the areas of arts education and engagement. She has curated our new main stage commission, and developed her role as an ambassador for Chicago’s artistic community. Her passion and drive, both on and off stage, bring a great spirit to the company and our art form. Renée is a wonderful partner to music director Sir Andrew Davis, to me, and to our entire organization. I look forward with eager enthusiasm to continuing our wonderful partnership with her.”

As creative consultant, Fleming will continue with her performance schedule while playing an active leadership role in conceiving and implementing projects designed to increase the relevance of opera for a variety of audiences—a key priority for Lyric.

Her plans, in collaboration with her Lyric colleagues, include:

+ Curating the December 7, 2015 world premiere of the opera “Bel Canto,” (based on the acclaimed novel by Ann Patchett), with composer Jimmy López, librettist Nilo Cruz, and director Kevin Newbury. As part of this process, Fleming worked closely with Anthony Freud and Sir Andrew Davis, and carried out extensive research to identify young composer López for the project. Fleming also tapped the talents of another emerging artist, Matthew Aucoin, who has been commissioned by Lyric Unlimited to create “Second Nature,” an opera for a younger audience, set to premiere in August 2015.

+ Continuation of the high-profile collaborations she has nurtured with other Chicago-based arts institutions to reinforce awareness of the strength of culture in Chicago to both our own communities, and around the world. This includes her ongoing role as National Cultural Ambassador for the Chicago Public Schools Arts Education Plan.

+ The development of Chicago Voices, a multi-year, multifaceted project to be announced in 2016. Chicago Voices projects will begin in the summer of 2016 with pilot programs and workshops in Chicago and culminate with a large-scale project and Gala in 2017.

+ Further developing Lyric’s young professionals initiative, which takes opera into the workplace and provides entry-level experiences for the opera-curious adult.

+ Ongoing work nurturing young talent in the Chicago area through Lyric Unlimited’s Vocal Partnership Program, which provides an avenue for high-school students at five partner organizations to learn about opera and develop their skills through access to artistry and expertise from Lyric artists and staff. These include the Merit School of Music, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Academy for the Arts, Music Institute of Chicago, and CPS Advanced Arts Program Gallery 37.

+ Developing Fleming’s role as a Ryan Opera Center Advisor.

+ Continuing her onstage presence at Lyric, including the title role in Lehár’s “The Merry Widow” (Nov. 14-Dec. 3, 2015) in a new-to-Chicago production that premiered at the Metropolitan Opera last year with Sir Andrew Davis conducting.

+ Maintaining a prominent presence in a variety of alternative media-based projects, as well as in traditional print and broadcast media in her role as Lyric’s creative consultant.

+ Championing new ways to use Lyric’s Civic Opera House.

On extending her commitment to Lyric, Fleming noted that, “Since I first performed at Lyric Opera of Chicago, I have been proud to be associated with this great company. Under the dynamic leadership of Anthony Freud, Sir Andrew Davis, and Lyric’s superlative Board, working to present unforgettable performances, discover and nurture outstanding artists, and engage the entire Chicago community, Lyric provides a home where I can hope to make a meaningful impact for this art form I love.”

The Latest
Arlington, Virginia, was the nation’s fittest community for the fifth straight year, the American Fitness Index rankings found. Chicago was No. 10.
The Bears’ lack of wide receivers and cornerbacks are particularly concerning, not just so the team can run a competent practice, but for Saturday’s preseason opener against the Chiefs.
Chicago follows behind New York City, several Texas cities and Indianapolis, among others.
Almost half of the Bears’ projected starters for Saturday’s preseason opener are new to the franchise.
If only these folks were as mad about the insurrectionist siege on the U.S. Capitol as they’re pretending to be about the raid on Trump’s Palm Beach golf club.