Renée Fleming to play an opera singer in Broadway play

23 December 2014, 11:17 | Updated: 6 January 2015, 10:32

The world-famous soprano will make her Broadway debut in the new play 'Living on Love' in April 2015.

Renée Fleming is best know for performing roles in operas by the likes of Mozart and Richard Strauss, but next year she’ll be treading the boards in a different guise.

For her Broadway debut the soprano will appear in a new comedy by Joe DiPietro. Fleming will play the role of an opera singer whose conductor husband falls in love with a ghostwriter he’s hired to pen his autobiography.

"I would have assumed that my only road to Broadway would have been in a musical,” said Fleming. “And I knew that I couldn't sing eight shows a week — we're trained in such a different way. Like weightlifters, we need those two days off. So it wasn't on my list of things to do. Sometimes the most interesting things come out of the blue, in love and in life.”

The play was recently performed at the Williamstown Theater Festival, starring Fleming and Douglas Sills. Fleming has added a bit of improvised singing to her role in the play, but the role is otherwise all spoken. 

“Learning how to sing well takes a lifetime of effort. Then putting the singing aside is another whole thing,” she said. “But we want to remain challenged in life, I think. And I'm certainly finding a way to do it.”

Living on Love, directed by Kathleen Marshall, opens on 1 April at the Longacre Theater and is due to run for 18 weeks. The rest of the casting has not yet been announced.

Photo: Renée Fleming in Living on Love at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Credit: T Charles Erickson