Staller Center for the Arts will present its annual Gala on March 2, 2019, starring one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time. Four-time Grammy Award winner Renée Fleming was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2013. She has sung for momentous occasions including the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014 Ms. Fleming became the first classical artist ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.
Ms. Fleming has a personal attachment to SUNY, completing her undergraduate studies at Potsdam before continuing at the Eastman School of Music and Juilliard School for graduate studies. Her brother and sister also attended Potsdam, and she has two nephews at SUNY schools as well.
At Staller Center, her Gala program includes songs by Brahms; Kevin Puts: Letters from Georgia; a group of songs from films including “You’ll Never Know” from The Shape of Water and “Tis the Last Rose of Summer” from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. A group of Italian songs and a selection of songs from musical theater will also be featured: “Till There Was You” from The Music Man, “Unusual Way” from Nine, and “Glamorous Life” from A Little Night Music, among others.
Tickets to the Gala are $90. For those who would like to become Gala Supporters, ticket price includes preferred seating, a sumptuous post-performance reception, and inclusion in the list of supporters in the evening’s playbill program.
Buy tickets online or call (631) 632-ARTS.
More than a Singer
In 2016 Ms. Fleming was appointed artistic advisor for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Seeking to champion the work being done nationally — both in the medical community and within the arts world — she spearheaded the first ongoing collaboration between America’s national cultural center and its largest health research institute, the National Institutes of Health. In association with the National Endowment for the Arts, Sound Health brings together leading neuroscientists, music therapists and arts practitioners to better understand and amplify the science connecting music, health and the brain. Inspired by the Sound Health initiative, Ms. Fleming created a presentation called Music and the Mind, which explores the power of music as it relates to health and the brain. Since September 2017 she has presented Music and the Mind in more than 20 cities across North America.
Ms. Fleming earned a 2018 Tony Award nomination for her appearance in Carousel on Broadway. Heard on the soundtracks of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and the 2018 Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water, she also provided the singing voice of Julianne Moore in the film Bel Canto. In April she will appear in the opening performances at the Shed, New York City’s newest major arts space; and this June, she will make her London theater debut in The Light in the Piazza at Royal Festival Hall.
This 16-time Grammy-nominated artist has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to jazz, indie rock and the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Ms. Fleming’s album Signatures was selected by the US Library of Congress for the National Recording Registry. Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, she has sung not only with Plácido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli, but also with Elton John, Paul Simon, Sting, Josh Groban and Joan Baez. She has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, and Live from Lincoln Center.
In 2013 Ms. Fleming joined with the Kennedy Center to present American Voices, a three-day festival and concert celebrating the best American singing in all genres, which was the subject of a Great Performances documentary on PBS. She has twice sung in the National Memorial Day Concert and also appeared in the 2018 A Capitol Fourth concert, all with the National Symphony Orchestra, telecast from the lawn of the US Capitol. She has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman (famously singing the Top Ten List), The Martha Stewart Show, Sesame Street, and The View.
Ms. Fleming’s memoir, The Inner Voice, published in 2004, is currently in its 16th printing. Among her most notable awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and honorary doctorates from the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Duke, Harvard, and Carnegie Mellon Universities, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School.