Night and Day: Wednesday, April 20, 2005
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Renée Fleming sings a varied program at Bass Hall, Mon.
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Fleming File

Every time Renée Fleming returns to Fort Worth, her stature seems to have increased since her last visit. The 46-year-old Pennsylvania-born soprano is now at the top of her game, applying her keen musicianship and creamy voice to an increasingly diverse repertoire — she covers Stevie Wonder’s “Ma Cherie Amour” and Joni Mitchell’s “River” on her upcoming album.
She’ll show off some of her range during her recital at Bass Hall on Monday. She starts off with a selection from Handel’s operas, those crystalline, technically forbidding arias to which she devoted her last recording. From there she segues into Alban Berg’s Early Songs, a set of seven pieces that the short-lived Austrian master wrote before the 12-tone style had completely taken over his music. John Kander’s “A Letter From Sullivan Ballou” is based on the words of a Civil War soldier writing home to his wife that were made famous when they were featured on Ken Burns’ tv miniseries. (It’s quite a departure for the songwriter from Cabaret and Chicago.) “Ain’t It a Pretty Night?” is the most famous number from Carlisle Floyd’s Tennessee backwoods-set opera Susannah, a contemplative aria that has quickly become a staple of sopranos’ repertoires the world over. The concert formally ends (though you’d hope the singer would favor us with some encores afterwards) with a selection of Schumann songs, most of them light character pieces and nocturnes, though the euphoric “Stille Tränen” (“Silent Tears”) is a bold exception. It should make a satisfying end to the Cliburn Concert Series.
Renée Fleming sings at 8pm Mon at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $15-80. Call 817-335-9000.


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