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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Renee Fleming - Broadway

Earlier this year, internationally renowned soprano Renée Fleming made her Broadway debut as Nettie Fowler in the revival of Carousel. Her acclaimed performance wowed audiences and critics alike and even earned her a Tony nomination. In that spirit, Fleming has recorded Broadway, an album that celebrates musical theatre with a range of song selections from classic composers like Rodgers & Hammerstein to modern classics like Pasek & Paul. 

Fleming’s voice soars on each track as you would expect. “Fable” (Light in the Piazza), “Something Wonderful” (The King and I), and “Till There Was You” (The Music Man) all show off the grandeur of Fleming’s voice and display an unsurprising beauty, however, from a musical theatre perspective, there is a lack of emotional context and they fall rather flat. With purely classical arrangements as well, they don’t bring anything new to the table, offering very little to get excited about. 

Broadway is heavy on the ballads, but the few upbeat numbers and those that veer from the sound you would expect from Renée Fleming are the real stand-outs. “Wonderful Guy” (South Pacific) is a nice change of pace with a quirkiness that makes you smile. “The Glamorous Life” (A Little Night Music) is by far my favorite track with a new arrangement that turns it into a solo for Fleming. She hams it up brilliantly and offers a superb performance. Her ability to act through the song comes through and it is a really fun listen.
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