An Evening with Renee Fleming, Artvoice

America’s favorite soprano is featured at the BPO opening night gala

The opening night gala concert of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s new season is for many people the one concert of the entire subscription series that is not to be missed. Superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the featured soloist at last year’s opening night gala delivered an exciting performance of Azul, a concerto written for him by the Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov, which also marked the first time that any work by this rising young composer appeared on a BPO Kleinhans program. Some might well argue that this was a tough act to follow, but not to worry, since Renée Fleming, the American soprano who herself enjoys superstar status, will be the featured soloist at this year’s BPO opening night gala on Saturday, September 13 at 8pm under the baton of music director JoAnn Falletta. The BPO scored a genuine coup by signing Renée for its opening night considering that in 2008, Fleming became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

Renée Fleming’s list of artistic accomplishments, well-deserved awards and accolades is overwhelming, so focusing on what her artistry means to a particularly well-informed classical music lover might be interesting. It is no surprise that Peter Hall, the genial host for the past six years of the WNED-FM 94.5 weekday ‘Classics by Request’ call-in program, which to the regret of many area classical music lovers has just ended, is a big fan of Renée Fleming.

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