A new series of IMAX films, with tours of great musical cities led by Grammy-winning soprano Renee Fleming, will kick off tomorrow.
Renée Fleming’s Cities That Sing – Paris will premiere globally at IMAX theaters September 18, while Renée Fleming’s Cities That Sing – Venice will premiere October 30.
Fleming also will join actor and producer Kelsey Grammer in a live conversation at 3 p.m. ET tomorrow at New York’s AMC Lincoln Square IMAX theater that will be simultaneously broadcast in participating theaters worldwide; audience members will be able to ask Fleming questions live.
Both films are Stage Access productions; the Paris film also will be shown on September 21.
In Renée Fleming’s Cities That Sing – Paris, Fleming will perform opera selections with connections to Paris with tenor Piotr Beczala, soprano Axelle Fanyo and baritone Alexandre Duhamel at the Théâtre du Châtelet. Fleming also will tour locations in Paris related to arts and culture, and others with which she has a personal connection, joined by director Robert Carsen and couturier Alexis Mabille.
In Renée Fleming’s Cities That Sing – Venice, Fleming will perform with Italian tenor Francesco Meli, baritone Mattia Olivieri and mezzo Paola Gardina at the Teatro La Fenice. Fleming also will visit some of her favorite Venetian destinations, on land and sea, accompanied by La Fenice’s artistic director, Fortunato Ortombina, and the orchestra’s conductor, Riccardo Frizza.
Fleming, who is the winner of four Grammy awards and the National Medal of Arts, has performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the Diamond Jubilee concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. She is also the only classical artist ever to have sung the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
In a recent interview, she said she was approached “out of the blue” to do the new series, to tour “great European capitals and stories of the repertoire—there’s so much to mine.”
“Everyone in the world loves Paris. We want them to come away after the pandemic thinking a trip to Paris would be so great,” she said.
Venice also is special, she said, because it was the home of the composer Giuseppe Verdi; she also said opera was invented in Italy in the 16th century.
The films, she noted, will be a “fabulous way to try opera. We want people to do something different and new,” especially those who are intimidated by entering an opera house.
“We are honored to have been able to create this remarkable series reinventing how classical music can be enjoyed and connected to culture in the most immersive of experiences with the incomparable Renée Fleming,” said Bruce H. Lipnick, founder and chief executive of Stage Access. “Fleming’s ability to connect with audiences as both a performer and host is unmatched along with the intimacy and scale of IMAX.”
“It is an honor to collaborate with Renée Fleming on this groundbreaking series that will bring the grandeur of her music and these unforgettable cities to life in IMAX for the first time,” said Megan Colligan, president of IMAX Entertainment.