Soprano Superstar Renée Fleming Performs with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra

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Want to learn more about Renée Fleming’s musical journey and the lessons it provided? Check out her internationally released 2005 book, The Inner Voice: The Making of a Singer

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Zoe Harr

Five-time GRAMMY Award-winner Renée Fleming, one of the most celebrated singers of our time and a 2023 Kennedy Center Honoree, joins the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) for an exclusive evening at the Center for the Arts on November 18. Led by Music Director and Conductor Christopher Zimmerman, the Fairfax Symphony is “a serious force to be reckoned with” and hailed as “a crown jewel of the cultural landscape” (The Washington Post). In this program ranging from Strauss to show tunes, the FSO and Fleming, "a superstar by any measure” (The New York Times), will deliver a concert experience that will be a cherished memory for years to come. 

Renee Fleming joins Fairfax Symphony Orchestra at the Center on Nov. 18.
Renee Fleming joins Fairfax Symphony Orchestra at the Center on Nov. 18.

The evening's program begins with Fairfax Symphony’s performance of Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from “Tristan and Isolde.” Fleming will then join the enemble for a sublime performance of Strauss’s achingly beautiful Four Last Songs. In a recent Washington Post review of her Tanglewood performance of Strauss lieder, classical music critic Michael Andor Brodeur praises Fleming’s “effortlessly refined performance of Strauss,” noting that “she sounded entirely at home in the sweep of Strauss’s current.” He continues, “DMV audiences can anticipate something similar when Fleming joins the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Strauss’s Four Last Songs." FSO will conclude the Strauss portion of the evening with his seductive tone poem “Don Juan.”

The Wall Street Journal notes, “For sheer beauty of sound, no soprano today can match Renée Fleming,” and this versatile artist has long been known for her interpretations of the radiant and complex works of Richard Strauss. She has performed in Capriccio; title roles in DaphneArabella, and Ariadne auf Naxos; as well as the role of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, which served as her signature role for more than 20 years. Fleming has also recorded Strauss’s Four Last Songs multiple times, stating in an interview with NPR upon the release of her 2008 rendition of the classic Strauss collection, “There's no point in recording something if you're going to do the same thing." In her November performance at the Center, Fleming aims to once again recapture and reimagine the beauty of this piece alongside the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. 

Fleming performs with FSO for the rest of the evening, returning to the stage with Leoncavallo’s “Musette svaria sulla bocca viva” from La bohème followed by Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi. For a special preview of Fleming’s powerful vocals, watch the video below from her recent performance of “O mio babbino caro” at "WHO 75 Healing Arts Concert: A Musical 'Merci' to the People of Geneva" in Switzerland’s Victoria Hall.

Concluding the performance are two classic songs from beloved Broadway shows, “Till There Was You” from The Music Man and “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. Though most associate Fleming with classical music and operatic repertoire, she continually showcases an impressive range of genres.  

In this November 18 collaboration with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Fleming invites the Center’s audience to witness this range for themselves. Buy your tickets today and fall under the spell of the captivating FSO and Renée Fleming. 

In the meantime, please enjoy a YouTube playlist showcasing "Fleming's soprano—another exemplar of legendary beauty" that "soars with the force of an uncontainable soul” (The New Yorker).