"My voice was challenging to find because I had so many technical issues. And I developed a sort of love of performing much later – I was not a natural performer."
"I heard some early recordings recently and I was surprised at just how undistinguished I sounded in my twenties. So I think that my voice took a little bit longer to develop, and I know that my technique took longer to develop along with my ability to say something on stage – I was a bit of a 'late bloomer', I'd say."
Renée Fleming's voice has an element of nostalgia and longing that she says comes from a mixture of influences.
"It's a combination of two musical sensibilities that I have. One stems from my jazz background, because there's a freedom that I've taken from that which I apply to how I turn a phrase," she said.
"And the second part of that is this concept of 'tragen,' to carry. It's how you stretch and pull a phrase so that you bring the ear along with it, and that is the thing I think more than anything else that creates the concept of longing in music."
"I'm a person who is completely dependant on the reaction from the audience. When I don't feel something coming from the audience I have learnt not to be immediately depressed, because I have discovered that there are some audiences who are serious listeners and not necessarily the most demonstrative in terms of showing their appreciation until the very end. With experience I have become a little less vulnerable to that."
In this edition of Musica you can hear excerpts from the following Giacomo Puccini works: 'Donde lieta uscì' from La Bohème, and 'O mio babbino caro' from Gianni Schicchi.http://www.euronews.net/
Gala concert of the Lucerne Festival
2004 Lucerne Festival Opening Concert