One of the first things I said when I first started this blog was, "I would like to see more risk taking by Renée and all the classical singers."
So what has happened with Renée Fleming in the meanwhile? Handel's Rodelinda at the Met, the jazz album Haunted Heart, a recording of Strauss' Daphne, a cheesy Christmas album, an album of late nineteenth century arias called Homage, a spectacular and remarkably unaffected performance of Tatania from Eugene Onegin at the Met, a perfume called La Voce, the first ever gala for a woman at the Met, a new rather over the top recording of the Strauss Four Last Songs, a spectacular Rosenkavalier also at the Met, a hilarious performance of Thais(Met), her 50th birthday, a Grammy for the new album Verismo, and a wonderful Met Rossini Armida. (I at least loved it.)
And now something being referred to in the press as rock called Dark Hope. This for my ears is closer to a baritonal Enya than to any rock I've heard. Perhaps when other people perform the same pieces they are rock-like, ish. You can only occasionally tell that it's Fleming.
Why? I have no idea. The pop press appears to be buying it. Maybe less risk taking might be in order. Or something more classical on the order of Cecilia doing Norma. Let somebody else do the risk taking for while.