R e née Fleming has always been a bit of a vocal chameleon. Put on Dark Hope, her 2010 album of indie rock titles, and opera aficionados would likely be hard pressed to guess the singer. Given she’s just passed the 200 mark in her run of Carousel on Broadway, it should come as no surprise that she can sing show tunes, but what isperhaps surprising about her new album, simply entitled Broadway, is the imagination behind a refreshingly eclectic program containing few of the usual suspects. But then Fleming, whose encores in recital often include the odd bit of Lerner and Loewe, has been a musicals fan all her life.
Renée Fleming as Nettie Fowler in the recent Broadway production of Carousel. Photo © Julieta Cervantes
“I sang Eliza Doolittle in eighth grade and again in eleventh grade, and the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Musicwhen I was 11 years old,” she explains, her voice bubbling with enthusiasm. “It was a big part of my upbringing. My parents were high school music teachers, so we were steeped in it.”