BWW Review: Renée Fleming brings the Catalan Audience to Tears with American Opera and Broadway

BWW Review: Renée Fleming brings the Catalan Audience to Tears with American Opera and Broadway

On Tuesday evening, Renée Fleming and the esteemed pianist Hartmut Höll united the audiences at Palau de la Música Catalana with a diverse repertoire by Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvo?ák, Franz Léhar , Francesco Tosti and Giacomo Puccini.

The notably joyful Fleming saluted the audience in Catalan making remarks on the Art Nouveau architecture of the concert auditorium which she compared to 'a jewel box.' She immersed the theatergoers into a mix of German arias followed by signature American composers such as Kevin Puts, Kander and Ebb, Maury Yeston and George Gershwin. Fleming shared some facts behind the story of Letters from Georgia written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, as she expressed again her love for Barcelona where the sun seems to be shining all year round - "My first memory is of the brightness of light - light all around."

Fleming concluded the first part of the concert singing the mermaid's aria Song to the Moon from Dvo?ák's Rusalka - she has sung the role of Rusalka more than any artist in the Metropolitan Opera's history and the audience at Palau gave her a standing ovation.
During the second part, Fleming introduced her most recent projects including the Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein 'Carousel' and the film 'Bel Canto.' With a notably great connection between Fleming and Ho?ll the concert continued with arias by Licinio Refice, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Giacomo Puccini, Francesco Tosti and Franz Léhar.

Fleming saved Kander and Ebb's Medley Love and Love Alone / Winter from "The Visit" for the end of the concert building a great transition to American Musical Theater and Opera. Maury Yeston's Unusual Way from the musical 'Nine' was another special song of the night. Although the signature Broadway songs appeared somehow new and unknown for the Catalan audience, the America's leading singer surprised all with the most popular aria by George Gershwin, bringing the audience to tears with a very emotional Summertime from the Opera Porgy and Bess. The sold out concert at Palau de la Música Catalana concluded with Fleming's favorite O Mio Babbino Caro. Renée Fleming will continue her European tour with performances in Netherlands and France.


Songs in order of appearance
J. BRAHMS: Vergebliches Standchen, Op. 84 no. 4 | Die Mainacht, Op. 43 no. 2 | Da unten im Tale, WoO 33 no. 6 | Meine Liebe ist grün, Op. 63 no. 5 | Wiegenlied, Op. 49 no. 4
K. PUTS: De Letters from Georgia: Introduction and Taos | Canyon
H. VILLA-LOBOS: "Cantilena" de Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
A. DVO?ÁK: "M?sí?ku na nebi hlubokém" (Cançó de la lluna) de Rusalka
L. REFICE: "Ombra di Nube"
R. LEONCAVALLO: "Musette svaria sulla bocca viva" de La Boheme
G. PUCCINI: "Signore, Ascolta" de Turandot
F. P. TOSTI: "La Serenata"
F. LEHÁR: "Warum hast du mich wachgeküsst" de Friederike
J. KANDER/F. EBB: De The Visit: Love and Love Alone | Winter
M. YESTON: "Unusual Way", de Nine
F. LEHÁR: "Ich bin verliebt" de Schön ist die Welt
G. GERSHWIN "Summertime"
G. PUCCINI "O Mio Babbino Caro"

Opened in February 1908, the Palau de la Mu?sica Catalana, home of the Orfeo? Catala?, is the only Art Nouveau concert auditorium listed as a World Heritage Site. Built between 1905 and 1908 by the architect Llui?s Dome?nech i Montaner as a base for the Orfeo? Catala? with money raised by popular subscription, the Palau de la Mu?sica Catalana is a piece of symbolic and emotional heritage for a whole people who identify with its history.
The concert auditorium − one of the world's most distinctive venues − has been for over a hundred years the privileged setting for national and international concerts in the city of Barcelona. This jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau architecture, the only Art Nouveau concert auditorium to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (since 4th December 1997), is today an essential meeting place in the cultural and social life of Catalonia.

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From This Author Guest Critic: Iskritsa Ognianova

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