Renée Fleming has been appointed as the first creative consultant at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The American soprano's five-year role will focus on creating new projects which aim to widen opera audiences.
The appointment includes developing the Lyric’s young professionals initiative and expanding the opera company’s educational activities.
Fleming will also oversee the production of a new opera in the 2015-16 season and develop the Lyric’s relationship with American musical theatre – starting with a production of Oklahoma in 2013.
Singing will be central to Fleming’s Chicago post as well: she will take the role of Blanche DuBois in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in 2013 and that of the Countess in R Strauss’s Capriccio in 2014.
The soprano has also been elected to sit on the venue’s board of directors. Fleming said that it was an ‘extraordinary privilege’ to have been appointed and hailed Chicago as ‘a cultural mecca’.
‘Lyric is a vibrant home to so many talented and dedicated colleagues,’ she says. ‘I am eager to join forces with them as we work to keep opera relevant and meaningful in people’s lives today.’