Renée Fleming in Ann Arbor

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I can’t believe it is Tuesday.

Last night I was having trouble keeping up with the date and the day of the week. Was it Sunday?

Even though we had a long weekend, it went by fast. It always does. SO what did I do this weekend?

Well, Saturday was a blur…wait…I had a 3 hour rehearsal with a chamber ensemble and then I came back home and got caught up with chores. Grocery shopping on a Saturday in a university town is seriously painful but I had to do it.

After getting all the necessary cleaning done I prepared for dinner and a new recipe. I decided to work with Ryan’s recipe for deep-dish pizza. The crust was already vegan but I made it half whole wheat and veganized the filling.


I will be sharing this recipe soon. It was delicious, but I think I will be reducing the amount of Daiya cheese I used and just keep a white crust for the next pizza. I am so glad I can be in this test kitchen, right?

Remember that January 29th is Vegan Pizza Day so make sure to plan on making pizza then!


On Sunday, Ryan and I headed out to Ann Arbor since he suprised me with tickets to hear Renée Fleming in recital. I was very excited to hear her. When I sang with the Houston Grand Opera chorus I did not get the one contract she was performing so I missed performing alongside her but I still got to hear and see her. We had wonderful seats in the performing hall at the U of M campus but imagine me running in HEELS with a nice dress trying to get to the recital on time. Not good. I was sad that Ryan had to park and possibly not arrive on time to get in to the beginning of the performance but thanks to God he made it quite fine.

The hall was completely packed! I had yet to see any performance hall as fully occupied as I saw this one, but I knew full well that noone would be silly enough to miss this performance.

Ms. Fleming sang for almost an hour and a half and selections I have really not been exposed to. She had 3 encores consisting of 3 crowd-pleasing arias like “O mio babbino caro” from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Strauss’s “Zueignung.” The third encore piece Ryan and I both agreed that “Marietta’s Lied” from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt was the winner of the program despite her having to introduce new pieces to the crowd.

The most unique songs performed by Ms. Fleming were pieces composed specifically for her by Brad Mehldau called “Book of Hours: Love Poems to God.” The pieces had jazzy aspects mixed in with sultry sounds. As usual, Ms. Fleming delivered a spectacular performance. She wore 2 couture gowns that were sparkly and gorgeous.


What I found out before I left the performance as that I totally missed the fact that Ms. Fleming came out with a new CD this past June that is completely different music than she normally sings. It is called Dark Hope and if you listen to this excerpt from YouTube you will be amazed by how she took on this project. An opera singer crossing over and singing pop tunes definitely not in her range but totally doable and professionally done.

My favorite peice is Hallelujah. Listen to it on Playlist.

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  • Kelly

    I am so impressed with you being an Opera Singer, Noelle! I loved this post and you sharing the story about seeing her and how exciting it was for you! My hope is that you get your own record out someday and can share it with all of us! Thanks!

  • vko

    Sounds like a lovely night out! And that deep dish pizza looks ridiculously delicious…

  • Monet

    Smile. I’m so glad that you enjoyed seeing Renee…what an amazing talent! I also totally understand how painful it can be to grocery shop in a University town. We made the mistake of going on the Saturday that all the UT kids returned from winter break. Bad news! Thank you for sharing your night out with me. I hope that tomorrow brings you joy!

  • Tanya

    I LOVE Renee Fleming! And I also love Die Tote Stadt….played it several years ago! Love the whole opera.