30 November 2007

No Norma

Renee Fleming has decided to ditch plans to perform Bellini's opera "Norma" because the role "just didn't fit," her publicist said.

"The part just didn't fit as she had hoped it would after living with it," Fleming publicist Mary Lou Falcone said Thursday. "Sometimes you can sing it through, sing it through perfectly, it's not a problem. But I think that she lived with it and realized that when you infuse it with the drama and everything else that goes with it, it just wasn't the best choice for her."
Sad day for Sieglinde, but hope remains. With the kind of vocal fitness she's nurtured in the last decade, Sieglinde sees another full decade of peak Fleming. Sieglinde still believes that caution may have to give way to challenge, if she is to approach the highest pantheon of operatic legend. So it may still happen, people. But the reverence with which she has treated the supreme role of Norma is admirable, and itself worthy of worship. With every other divette singing every other role these days, it's remarkable to now find a Diva withdraw, at the height of her vocal health and influence, from a role that she ostensibly can sing, and sing better than any other active soprano of this generation. Brava diva.

(Fellow Fleming flappers, be sure to pepper the discussion developing at parterre with positive vibes.)