TINSELTOWN DIVA: Who says there’s no culture in Hollywood?

Last week, fans of soprano Renée Fleming, including Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, Benicio Del Toro and producer Brian Grazer, packed the Hollywood Bowl for her debut at the legendary amphitheater. Fleming delighted the audience with her favorite Richard Strauss lieder and a sampling from the American songbook, including “Summertime,” a natural choice for the balmy evening. For a second “site-specific” number, the diva sang (for the first time in years, she said) “Casta Diva” — Bellini’s famous incantatory address to the moon goddess — as a silvery moon rose over the Hollywood Hills.

This story first appeared in the August 3, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Fleming herself shone like a goddess in a dramatic Ferré gown that showed off her newly trim figure. As the summer breeze played with her sheer chiffon wrap and gently lifted her diva locks, she was definitely ready for her close-up on the Bowl’s giant new video monitors.

The irony, she said afterward at a reception hosted by Ron Meyer, is that she’s been living the high life in Paris for the past two months.

“Foie gras, pommes frites and crème brûlée,” she said. “Now it’s time to detox.”

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