Tribute to Renée Fleming Part 2

Tribute to Renée Fleming Part 2

Gerald Perman, our beloved Founder, subscribed to the theory that Washington audiences had short memories; if a singer therefore presented a notably successful debut recital here, his oft-repeated mantra was, “We have to bring them back right away,” ideally intended...
Tribute to Renée Fleming, Part 1

Tribute to Renée Fleming, Part 1

Let us pay tribute to Renée Fleming on the occasion of her well-deserved 2023 Kennedy Center Honors Award by traveling back over three decades to her first Vocal Arts DC recital at an exciting moment in the soprano’s burgeoning career. In January 1992, Fleming gave...
Walden

Walden

I wonder whether the reason our second commission—Gregory Spears’ song cycle Walden, to verses by Henry David Thoreau—has such a special place in my heart is because its birth was so difficult. I can’t objectively know. Yet its message of simplicity in all things,...
What is art song?

What is art song?

On December 15, 1822, poet Wilhelm Müller penned a gracious letter to composer Bernhard Klein after discovering Klein published two settings of his poems. He wrote, “My songs lead but a half life, a paper life of black and white…until music breathes life into them, or...