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Sharing releases, present and past, to brighten your day. WXXI Classical has its eyes and ears on the latest releases from classical artists working today. When we come across a story or a release we think you might enjoy, we’ll be sharing it with you on CD Spotlight. You’ll learn more about the artists online at WXXI Classical, and you’ll hear selections from these artists on FM 91.5. CD Spotlight shares new releases by artists that you’ll want to know and some by great artists and ensembles that deserve to be in the spotlight again.

CD Spotlight: Greatest Moments at the MET by Renee Fleming

Cover of Renee Fleming's Greatest Moments at the MET
Cover of Renee Fleming's Greatest Moments at the MET

Renée Flemings’s new double CD, Her Greatest Moments at the MET, is truth in advertising: a collection of glorious arias sung by Fleming from nineteen operas, covering twenty-four years. These live performances showcase Fleming’s career in the place she calls “my musical home, the theater where I feel welcome amongst friends – backstage, onstage, and in the audience.”

The beginning of Fleming’s Met career is famous: in 1991 she stepped in at the last minute to play the Countess in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, winning instant accolades and launching an operatic relationship that has spanned over three decades. Since that auspicious beginning, she has sung in more than 250 performances at the MET.

The CD is in chronological order, beginning with that fateful Mozart performance, and continuing up to her 2015 performance in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, and includes stellar guest appearances by Cecilia Bartoli, Susan Graham, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Samuel Ramey and Bryn Terfel. As a special bonus, the liner notes are by former WXXI Classical announcer Mary Jo Heath, who was the voice of the MET for fifteen seasons.

“The Met,” says Fleming, “is vast, but when you’re singing there, and there’s absolute silence, and you’re in a flow state, it is one of the most magical experiences you can have as a performer. It’s the pinnacle, just the pinnacle of all opera houses.” And you can revel in Renée Fleming’s glorious journey through the years each time you listen to this release.

A Strong Memorial baby and Greece Arcadia grad, Julia Figueras was the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI Classical until June 30, 2023 when she retired after more than 26 years of service. She also hosted the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.