RENÉE FLEMING

May 25, 2018 at 5:15 am

Opera virtuoso Renée Fleming takes Broadway by storm in the revival of the classic “Carousel.”

Aired on May 24, 2018.

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>>> FOR DECADES INTERNATIONALLY
ACCLAIMED SOPRANO AND FOUR-TIME
GRAMMY WINNER RENEE FLEMING HAS
BEEN A SHINING STAR ON THE
WORLD'S GREAT OPERA STAGES,
INCLUDING IN NEW YORK.
NOW APPEARING IN SOMEWHAT
DIFFERENT ROLE AND WINNING EVEN
MORE ACCLADS FOR BROADWAY
MUSICAL DEBUT IN REVIVAL OF
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S SAGA OF
DOOMED LOVE, "CAROUSEL," SINGS
MANY OF THE CLASSICS, AMONG THEM
THE ANTHEM "YOU'LL NEVER WALK
ALONE" TAKE A LOOK, SHE LEAVES
HARDLY A DRY EYE INCLUDING MINE
IN THE HOUSE.
§
>> AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE
RENEE FLEMING JOIN US.
ALWAYS NICE TO SEE YOU.
>> GREAT TO SEE YOU TOO, JACK.
>> WIFE AND I SAW IT LAST WEEK,
IT'S MARVELOUS.
>> THANK YOU.
>> DO WANT TO TALK TO YOU
ABOUT -- SO MANY ICONIC SONGS IN
IT.
DON'T REALIZE IT UNTIL YOU SIT
IN IT.
>> CONSIDERED TO BE THE GREATEST
AMERICAN MUSICAL AND IN MANY
WAYS CLOSEST TO THE CLASSIC
ARTS.
BALLET AND --
>> THERE'S SO MUCH GOING ON ON
THE STAGE.
WERE YOU SURPRISED AT
CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE
CLASSICAL ARTS AND THIS
PRODUCTION?
>> MY COLLEAGUES AND I TALK
ABOUT THE FACT WE THINK THAT'S
WHAT MAKES IT SO SPECIAL.
YOU HAVE ME, SPECTACULAR DANCERS
FROM NEW YORK CITY BALLET, MIAMI
BALLET, AND GREAT ENSEMBLE OF
SINGERS, EXTRAORDINARY BROADWAY
SINGERS SO VERSATILE, DISCOVERED
THEY CAN SING CLOSER TO THE
STYLE I SING IN AND THEY'VE
NEVER TRIED IT BEFORE.
QUALITY ON EVERY LEVEL IS SO
HIGH.
>> ONE OF THE THINGS I FIND
FASCINATING IS WHEN SOMEBODY WHO
IS KNOWN IN ANOTHER VENUE COMES
ON TO BROADWAY, HOW BROADWAY
FOLKS REACT TO THEM.
AS YOU WALKED ON STAGE FOR FIRST
APPEARANCE, AUDIENCE WENT CRAZY.
THEY ARE LOVING HAVING YOU HERE.
>> IT'S SO WONDERFUL.
>> IS THERE A DIFFERENT AUDIENCE
VIBE, REACTION BETWEEN ON OPERA
STAGE, THOUSANDS OF FOLKS, AND
BROADWAY THEATER WITH HUNDREDS
OF FOLKS?
>> THIS IS A PRETTY BIG HALL,
ABOUT 1,400, EIGHT SHOWS A WEEK,
AUDIENCE NUMBERS ADD UP.
BUT RESPONSE SO POSITIVE, PEOPLE
ARE LOVING IT, THE SHOW.
ANDED MELODIC MATERIAL IN THIS.
>> 77 YEARS OLD.
>> RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S
SECOND WORK.
ALWAYS WATCHING THE AUDIENCE,
EVERYBODY IS HUMMING AND SINGING
IT, EVEN YOUNGER PEOPLE.
DO YOU GET THAT REACTION?
ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU BURST INTO
THESE SONGS AND EVERYBODY KNOWS
THEM.
>> IT'S FUNNY, MOSTLY YOUNG
PEOPLE WAIT OUTSIDE, I ALWAYS
POLL THEM.
DID YOU KNOW THIS?
DID YOU LIKE IT?
ARE YOU LEARNING THIS MUSIC?
>> SOME GET IT AS PART OF THEIR
MUSICAL EDUCATION.
LOT OF PEOPLE SAY NO, I DIDN'T
KNOW IT, I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
IT'S VERY MIXED.
BUT I HAD NEVER SEEN THE SHOW, I
HAVE TO CONFESS.
I DIDN'T KNOW THE SHOW AS WELL
AS I THOUGHT I DID.
>> KNEW THE MUSIC.
>> EXACTLY.
AND IT'S DARK, REALLY COMPLEX.
>> IT'S MAGNIFICENT MUSIC BUT AS
YOU SAID VERY DARK AND DEEPLY
PROBING STORY.
>> EXACTLY.
>> HOW ABOUT YOUR DAILY ROUTINE?
EIGHT SHOWS A WEEK, SOMETIMES
TWO A DAY.
DEMANDING SONGS, THERE'S A LOT
OF ACTIVITY ON THAT STAGE GOING
ON.
HOW IS YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
DIFFERENT DOING A BROADWAY
MUSICAL AS OPPOSED TO PERFORMING
AT THE MET?
>> IT'S QUITE DIFFERENT.
WHEN I SING ANY CLASSICAL
CONCERT, IT'S SO PHYSICALLY
TIRING AND DEMANDING IN TERMS OF
THE VOCAL 71st WOSITY OF IT.
I HAVE TO BE QUIET, REALLY
PREPARE AND REST MY VOICE.
THIS I'M FINDING TO BE QUITE
DIFFERENT.
POLLED A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO DID
THIS.
EITHER SAID CLOISTER YOURSELF,
DON'T DO ANYTHING OR LIVE YOUR
LIFE, WALK ON STAGE, WHAT'S THE
FIRST LINE.
GO.
>> WHAT HAVE YOU CHOSEN?
>> THE LATTER SO FAR.
KNOCK ON LEATHER.
SO FAR I'M ENJOYING IT.
PART OF IT IS BECAUSE IN MY MIND
I'VE IMAGINED I'M AWAY FROM MY
OWN WORLD AND NOBODY KNOWS ME
AND I CAN JUST HAVE FUN.
>> FACT IS EVERYBODY KNOWS YOU,
BUT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE ENJOYING
YOURSELF.
LOOKING ON THE STAGE AND
INTERACTION WITH THE OTHER
ACTORS.
>> YES.
>> QUESTION FOR YOU.
TALKED ABOUT "YOU'LL NEVER WALK
ALONE," ANTHEM, YOU'VE PERFORMED
IT MANY TIMES IN DIFFERENT
VENUES.
NOW ON STAGE WITH LOT OF PEOPLE
AROUND YOU AND ACTING.
IS IT DIFFERENT TO PERFORM IN
THAT TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT?
>> IT'S SO POWERFUL, IT'S SO
EMOTIONAL, QUITE DIFFERENT.
ON ITS OWN IN STAND ALONE
SITUATION, EVEN WHEN IT'S TRAGIC
LIKE 9/11 MEMORIAL I SANG AT, IT
IS ABSOLUTELY AN ANTHEM, AND ONE
THAT PEOPLE KNOW, DON'T KNOW
IT'S FROM MUSICAL.
ITS TRAGIC.
REALLY THE STRENGTH OF THE
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE THREE
WOMEN IS THE SOUL OF THIS WORK.
HER TRYING TO COMFORT JULIE
WHOSE HUSBAND JUST COMMITTED
SUICIDE, REALLY.
INCREDIBLY POWERFUL MOMENT.
>> ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO TALK
WITH YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
>> THANKS FOR THE TIME.
LOOK FORWARD TO CHATTING AGAIN.
RENEE FLEMING IN "CAROUSEL" AT
IMPERIAL THEATER.
"METROFOCUS".ORG FOR MORE
INFORMATION.