The Renée Fleming guide to singing (and loving) Richard Strauss, like an absolute BOSS

6 April 2016, 13:30 | Updated: 22 August 2017, 12:50

We asked the amazing soprano what makes this music so special, and exactly how she’s able be such a complete boss when it comes to anything Richard Strauss.

So, American soprano Renée Fleming is thoroughly awesome at everything – whether it be a Handel opera, lyric Verdi, a jazz standard, new music, or belting out the national anthem at the Superbowl (a favourite of ours).

And she’s utterly amazing when it come to the music of Richard Strauss. Here she is smashing the incredible climax of his opera Capriccio (you'll see what we mean about her amazingess).

Richard Strauss’ opera and song is epic, radiant, complex and luxurious – and places an immense demand on any singer. Tonight, Renée takes to the stage of London's Barbican to perform a recital of song - concluding with five magnificent Lieder from Strauss (Das Bachlein, Ruhe, meine seele, Allerseelen, Meinem Kinde and Zueignung) - you might be able to snap up the last ticket too.

We were able to speak to Renée for a few minutes in London before the concert, and wanted to ask her why she thinks this music is so special and, basically, how she is able to be such an amazing performer of his work. 

What make Strauss so special? 

First up we asked her why his writing is so brilliant for her and the soprano voice...

How do you prepare for a new role?

We asked the formidable soprano how she tackles a new piece or role.



And for Renée, it’s not simplifying those complex characters, it’s all about understanding the layers…

Renee Fleming on the layers in Richard Strauss roles


Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 6 April 2016

When you take it to the stage, how do you warm up and get ready for a night of Strauss? 

When Renée’s about to walk out on stage and raise the roof with some epic Strauss opera or song, here’s the prep she’s done...  


What’s that one very special piece or moment? 

And here’s how she visualises it...




And so, that’s how it's done - and here's some Der Rosenkavalier to celebrate...