Watch Renée Fleming's music video of 'Endlessly,' by indie-rock band Muse
Operatic soprano Renée Fleming's latest album, "Dark Hope," has received quite a bit of press in the past few weeks, mainly because she doesn't perform any opera in it.
"Dark Hope" features the renowned American singer performing renditions of songs by indie-rock bands such as Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Mars Volta and Muse.
Recently, a music video of Fleming singing Muse's "Endlessly" has surfaced on YouTube. Wearing a black leather jacket, the singer casually strolls the fashionably run-down landscape of a hipster New York, her famous soprano voice lowered an octave or so to a sultry purr.
Watch closely and you'll catch a cameo by actor Matthew Modine, playing Fleming's lover in the video. You get bonus points for spotting the singer's two young daughters, Amelia and Sage. Double bonus points for catching a brief glimpse of film director Abel Ferrara ("Bad Lieutenant").
Early reviews for "Dark Hope" have been mixed.
Jon Pareles of the New York Times writes that the album "is a good start not for operatic fusion -- it’s opera free -- but for a side career. Ms. Fleming’s next step is figuring out how to sound, now and then, just a little less serious about it all."
A review by Sarah Bee for BBC News described the album as "uneven yet interesting, and there’s little to nitpick about her voice, but the project isn’t altogether successful. ... This is a respectable collection and a work that embarrasses no one, but lacking in purpose and ultimately in heart."
The blog Proper Discord found several things to dislike about the album: "These are all either songs by bands or by solo artists known for ensemble works, but the arrangements here all depend on the vocalist to carry a weak ensemble. ... It seems like everybody involved underestimated what it took to make a modern rock record, and it's a shame, because the talent was there. It didn’t need to suck."
-- David Ng
Photo: Renée Fleming. Credit: Andrew Eccles.
RECENT AND RELATED'Ring' cycle, 'Nixon in China' part of Metropolitan Opera's 2010-11 season