RENÉE FLEMING

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

Aired on May 24, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> 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.

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