Thursday, April 23, 2015

How A Photograph Gives Renée Fleming A Full-Circle Moment

This image of Renée Fleming was shot by photographer Matthew Rolston for Vanity Fair magazine in the early 1990s. What is the significance of this photo today? Read all about it after the jump.

During the performance of her new Broadway play, Living on Love, soprano Renée Fleming sings excerpts from Puccini's La Bohème and Tosca. Seen in the picture below, actor Jerry O'Connell studies a recording of the soprano's character Raquel de Angelis (an obvious nod to opera legend Victoria de los Angeles...) singing Tosca. On the cover you see a photo of the heroine. If you look closely, it becomes clear this is the photo from the very shoot for Vanity Fair. Decca also used the image for Fleming's own recording of Massenet's Thais. In the photo, Renée is wearing Desdemona's dressing gown from Verdi's Otello, a role she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1994. And now over two decades later it reappears in her Broadway debut.

Jerry O'Connell examining the faux Tosca recording in Living on Love.

The cover art for Decca's recording of Thais with a forehead adornment added to the original photo.
Renée Fleming wearing the dressing gown in Otello as she sings with Plácido Domingo at the MET.

Watch this trailer for Living on Love to get a taste of the comedy:

Cast reactions on opening night of Living on Love:

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