At Sen. John McCain's funeral this morning, Renee Fleming sang a stunningly haunting rendition of "Danny Boy." For those that did not see it, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ygJD8dxi3oI'm curious if anyone knows anything about this particular arrangement of the piece? I think it's just exquisite, and I'm hoping to find out the name of who arranged it.
Not sure the name of the arranger, but it's the version I associate most closely with Renée. She's always taken a beautifully haunting tack with it, as compared to someone like Dame Kiri te Kanawa who's always more longing in her renditions.
It was a lovely arrangement and she interpreted it movingly. But I thought her voice was not up to it. Just sounded labored as if it wasn't a good place for her voice, although top notes were lovely.
As an older singer, I'm 62, I can tell you that as I've aged, I have my top notes and bottom notes but it's the middle that's suffered. Since we spend most of the time singing in the middle register it begins to wear out before the top and bottom. My voice has darkened, but it's much harder to achieve a legato line as easily as I did 30 or 40 years ago. My breath is still there, but the power has diminished. I agree that Renee's voice didn't sound its best.
How about just sing the song - it's beautiful enough as it is - it doesn't need a fussy arrangement. She scoops and slides - a clear indication that the vocal technique is harder and harder to keep up and in shape. That is why she made the right decision to wind-down the opera career. Best leave now before it becomes more than apparent that the voice cannot negotiate the genre. However, the tone of the voice is still beautiful to say the least. But if you question her on this song, just be in the same room when she tries to sing Summertime. Summertime? Why Renee would you do Summertime? It is absolutely awful and an embarrassment to the composition. Just because you can sing it, doesn't mean you should. After Leontyne and Simone, Fitzgerald, Vaugh, Clemma Dale, and the latest on Broadway, the fabulous Nikki Renee Daniels, you should stop Renee - this isn't your song to sing no matter how much you want to sing it in public.
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