Opera superstar Renée Fleming has a date with the TSO

Soprano RenĂ©e Fleming, one of the world’s most acclaimed opera singers, is going to help the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra celebrate its 35th anniversary.

On Oct. 16, Fleming, who is sometimes referred to as simply The Beautiful Voice, will sing operatic arias, as well as popular classics from the American songbook, during a concert with the TSO in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.

“She is absolutely the best classical vocalist of our time and we are very excited that she will share her incredible talent with our community,” TSO conductor Darko Butorac said.

Fleming, who has won four Grammy Awards, has performed everywhere from the Metropolitan Opera House to the 2014 Super Bowl – where she sang a flawless version of the national anthem. She was also featured in the all-star “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” concert in 2009 and the “Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II” in 2012.

“I am so proud that we have engaged Ms. Fleming to sing with the TSO,” TSO executive director Amanda Stringer said. “Not only is it thrilling to have such a megastar come to Tallahassee, but her appearance will help shine a bright light on our excellent orchestra.”

Fleming has a direct connection to Tallahassee thanks to Carlisle Floyd, the opera composer who lives near Killearn. Floyd wrote his landmark opera “Susannah” in 1955 while teaching at Florida State and it had its first production at FSU. It is tied with George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” (1935) as the most performed American opera around the world. Fleming starred in the title role when “Susannah” made its debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1999.

“It’s a wonderful part,” Fleming said in an interview with the Democrat in 1999. “How many operas are there where an innocent girl is driven mad in under two hours?”

“It’s certainly the most beautiful voice I’ve heard in the role (of Susannah),” Floyd said from his home earlier this week. “And that’s saying quite a bit. … It’s a very naturally beautiful voice and she has taken very good care of it.”

By Mark Hinson | Courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat