Inner Voice: Renee Fleming

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The Inner Voice: The Making of a Singer Renée Fleming is an American soprano. She introduces her book by telling how she was the only non-Russian to perform at St. Petersburg, Russia for the city’s 300th year anniversary in 2003. She sang Tatyana’s letter scene at the Maryinsky Theatre. She did not speak any of the language. She learned the role of Tatyana by repeated memorization. She states she had to understand how everything translated and how to sound like an authentic national, especially because she was performing to a house of Russians. Fleming was searching for advice when she first started her education in singing. Fleming says she devoured books from her predecessors trying to find advice and none of them offered tips or advice, she could only find autobiographies. She decided to write a book on her own to share her experiences and to help guide those that are considering a career in the arts. She states, “What I came up with in the end was not the story of my life, but the autobiography of my voice” (p. xvii). In the next few chapters she discusses her family, education and apprenticeship. She was raised in New York; both of her parents were musicians and her home was always filled with music. She wrote many songs and poetry, beginning in junior high. Fleming states, “It was when I started writing music rather than just performing it that I first began to develop a sense of who I was as a person” (2004, p. 14). She studied with Patricia Misslin at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York. While at Potsdam, she fell in love with jazz music. She got a weekly engagement with a jazz trio. She did this for two and one-half years. After graduating with a major in music at Potsdam, she moved on to Eastman School of Music for her master’s. Her voice teacher was John Malloy. While at Eastman, she performed a horrible first audition for the Met National
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