Despite being one of the greatest opera singers in the world, Renée Fleming still cares about how she’s perceived in addition to how opera is regarded in today’s culture.
This story first appeared in the September 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I wanted to get away from the breast plates and horns and all the other stereotypical clichés that go along with being an operatic soprano and bring a present image into our modern world that’s about beauty and glamour,” said Fleming.
At the Coty Inc. party to introduce her scent, La Voce, which was held at The Metropolitan Opera on Tuesday, Fleming said, “I wanted a scent that was modern and spoke to women of my generation.”
“I’ve always wanted to represent my upbringing and generation and not be put into template of Fifties Italian soprano — as much as I love them and I’m their biggest fan, that’s not me because I’m American and grew up listening to all kinds of music,” said Fleming.
She admitted to being a fan of the same music that her teenagers tune into, when she’s not engulfed in her classical repertoire. Some of these artists include singer Jamie Cullum, folk singer Damien Rice, jazz guitarist Bill Frizell, vocalist Kurt Elling and pianist Brad Mehldau.
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When it comes to Pink Floyd, Fleming has become a recent fan, especially after recently receiving the prestigious Polar Music Prize, together with Roger Waters. Seeing him honored brought home the importance of the music she heard as a kid.
“Now I feel like an expert cause when I was there, I was steeped in their music — there aren’t many rock groups that can transcend their own generations and four decades later still have people listening to them,” said Fleming. “It appeals more to me now more than it did when I was a teenager.”