Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Renée Fleming in the house

The ‘people’s diva’ set to perform in valley

Express Staff Writer

Proving she can handle a croud of any kind and any size, Renee Fleming recently shushed the crowd at the Super Bowl by belting out the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Courtesy photo

    Soprano Renée Fleming, who belted out the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl last weekend, cementing her moniker as “the people’s diva,” will headline the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s 30th Anniversary Gala this summer.
    The announcement coincides with a chance to catch Fleming “Live in HD” in Dvorák’s romantic opera “Rusalka” Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Big Wood Cinema 4 in Hailey. The story, based on a fairy tale, became one of the most successful Czech operas and continues to be a cornerstone in Czech opera houses.
    Rusalka is a water sprite from Slavic mythology who falls in love with a human prince.
    This is one of Fleming’s signature roles, in which she sings the beautiful “Song to the Moon.”
    Doors open at 10:15 a.m. The Sun Valley Opera’s Dick Brown will give a pre-opera lecture on the rise of nationalism in opera. The opera broadcast begins at 11 a.m.
    Tickets can be purchased at the theater’s box office. The prices are $24 general admission, $20 for seniors and $18 for students.
     In addition to earning four Grammys, Fleming’s illustrious career has included performing at President Barack Obama’s inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in 2009, and in a historic first, singing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II.
    She recently released “Dark Hope,” a critically acclaimed CD featuring covers of indie-rock and pop artists, the jazz album “Haunted Heart,” and recordings for the movie soundtrack of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
    The Sun Valley Summer Symphony is the largest privately funded free-admission orchestra in the United States. The gala, honoring the organization’s 30th year of offering free music in the Wood River Valley, will be held Aug. 3 at the Sun Valley Pavilion.

We’re simply over
the moon.”
Alasdair Neale
Music director
Sun Valley Summer Symphony

    “We’re simply over the moon that Renée will be gracing us with her talents at our 30th Anniversary Gala,” said the symphony’s music director, Alasdair Neale. “The diversity of the music that she not only performs but knocks out the park is as phenomenal as her voice and stage presence. She represents everything we like to think of ourselves as an organization as we celebrate 30 years—inspired, relevant and evolving.”
    Alison Luckman, Gala Committee chair, said, “People think of Renée Fleming as the world’s preeminent opera star but in reality that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Her connection with the audience is so warm and engaging; people will be delighted at what she brings to the stage.”
    This year’s gala will feature a post-concert dinner for sponsor ticket holders at the Knob Hill Inn in Ketchum. For complete information and ticket pricing for the event, as well as the full 2014 orchestra concert season details, visit
    The Sun Valley Summer Symphony season commences with the free “In Focus” concert and discussion series July 27-Aug. 1, and continues with the admission-free orchestra season Aug. 4-19.
    In honor of the 30th anniversary, the season will be marked by special programming, including the premiere of a work by Mason Bates commissioned by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the return of Joshua Bell, who has been called America’s greatest violinist, and “Pixar in Concert,” featuring the music of animated films such as “Toy Story,” “Cars” and “The Incredibles.”

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