March 07, 2016

Following a time-honored tradition, world-renowned classical vocalist Renée Fleming will give a master class Sunday, March 13, at The Catholic University of America Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. Fleming will share her knowledge with the audience while working directly with two voice performance students and two musical theatre students.

Renée Fleming
Renée Fleming

“A great tradition of classical singing is that knowledge is passed on from established singers to students in master classes,” Fleming said. “I love sharing what I’ve learned from my own experience, not just about technique, but style and presentation, too.”

Helping to organize the event is Fleming's sister, Rachelle Fleming, clinical assistant professor of musical theatre at the music school.

The class, which is open to the public, will take place in Caldwell Auditorium at 3 p.m. Tickets for the Renée Fleming Master Class are $35 for general admission and free for all CUA faculty, staff, students, and alumni. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 202-319-5414 or visit

The recipient of the National Medal of Arts and four Grammy Awards, Fleming has sung at historic occasions around the world, including the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2014, she became the first classical singer ever to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. In 2012, in another historic first, she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II. 

Recently, Fleming performed at the Metropolitan Opera singing the title role in Lehar's The Merry Widow, and she was heard in the role again in November at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She also made her Broadway debut as an actress in the comedy Living on Love, for which she was nominated for a Drama League Award. She has appeared in virtually all of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls and her recital schedule in recent years has spanned the globe, including Sydney, Paris, Geneva, London, Vienna, Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Taipei.

Fleming has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to an album of indie rock covers, Dark Hope, the jazz album Haunted Heart, and the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, she has sung with such artists as Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo, as well as with Elton John, Sting, Lou Reed, Josh Groban, Joan Baez, and the Muppets.

Fleming’s master class is one of many unique learning experiences provided for music students at Catholic University. On Thursday, March 8, the school will host a similar master class with American classical cellist Lynn Harrell in Ward Recital Hall at 7 p.m. In addition, the school regularly hosts visiting composers, pianists, and musicians from around the world. 

“A master class with a great artist can be a life-changing experience for a young musician,” said Grayson Wagstaff, dean of music. “Renée Fleming and Lynn Harrell are among the finest musicians in the world today and enjoy sharing their knowledge with students.”