VIDEO: Renée Fleming’s Most Important Advice for Young Singers to Be Successful in Opera Today

By Stephen Raskauskas |

Soprano Renée Fleming offers advice for young singers from inside the Civic Opera House in Chicago

As classical music and opera evolve into the 21st century, so must musicians. Star soprano Renée Fleming spoke with WFMT to share some advice for today’s young singers. Hear her share the most important thing a young singer can do to ensure a successful career in opera below.

Changes in artistic management, Fleming said, have affected how singers pursue opportunities now. She also added that young artist programs are vital for singers who are transitioning from being students.


Are you one of those singers who listens almost exclusively to classical music? Maybe your friends want to sing along to their favorite show tunes, but you want to save your voice to sing some Schubert or Strauss? Fleming had an important tip for singers about diversifying your repertoire that just might affect what pieces you include in your audition package.


Sometimes, a singer may only have the opportunity to impart advice during a brief encounter during a public masterclass. Masterclasses are even more difficult for students than an ordinary lesson because the instructor is usually a renowned artist like Fleming, and because they are usually presented before an audience – which may include potential employers.


As Lyric Opera of Chicago’s creative consultant, Fleming will present masterclasses in anticipation of the Chicago Voices Concert, which takes places on February 4, 2017 and for which Fleming serves as artistic director.


Collaborative arts programming is made possible by the Richard and Mary L. Gray Artistic Collaboration Fund.