In a coup certain to add luster to the company’s national and international reputation, Lyric Opera of Chicago appointed the celebrated American soprano Renée Fleming to the newly created position of creative consultant. Her five-year term is to begin immediately. The announcement came Thursday at a press conference in the Civic Opera House.
In her new capacity, believed to be a first for a major American opera company, Fleming, 51, will join the Lyric board as a vice president and take an active leadership position within the artistic administration. Along with performing opera and concerts at the Lyric, she will work with senior officials to create new projects, expand education and marketing efforts and collaborate with other Chicago arts organizations, including the Chicago Symphony, Art Institute of Chicago, Goodman Theatre and Harris Theater.
Fleming, moreover, will be involved in the selection of a composer and the property itself, for a new opera scheduled to have its world premiere during Lyric’s 2015-16 season. The singer also will be at the forefront of an annual series of classic American musical theater works, beginning with a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma” following the subscription season in spring 2013.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.