Renée Fleming: A finer thread of air

by Scott Lozier

If you missed seeing soprano Renée Fleming teach a master class at Paine Hall with four Harvard singers -- Bridget Haile '11, Michael Cherella '11, Francesca Reindel '11, Sofia Selowsky '12 -- and three pianists -- Jesse Wong '12, Jen Chen '11, Matthew Aucoin '12 -- you can still hear the glory of the event by watching the video below. Turns out that in addition to being an exquisite interpreter of opera and other vocal music, Fleming is also a master teacher. She shared her techniques for breathing, physical strength, expanding sound and giving to both the music and the audience. Find a "finer thread of air," she told one student. The phrase is perfect for what the "people's diva" accomplished at Harvard -- and, by doing exactly that in her own performance, Fleming proves the success of the phrase when ever she steps onstage. Which she will Feb 11-13 at Symphony Hall in Boston to perform Strauss and Mahler with James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. [http://www.youtube.com/v/FLLJ1r0x9PA&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

[Caption: Photo by Decca Andrew Eccles]