Shepherd School to host internationally acclaimed soprano for master class

Rice’s Shepherd School of Music will host internationally acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming Sept. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Alice Pratt Brown Hall’s Stude Concert Hall for its annual Aleko Endowed Master Class in Voice.

Rene Flemming

Renée Fleming (Photo by DECCA/ANDREW ECCLES)

“We are so fortunate that Renée Fleming is returning to the Shepherd School to present a master class,” said Richard Bado, director of the Shepherd School’s Opera Studies Program. “Not only is she one of the world’s greatest singers, she is a gifted teacher who is able to very quickly figure out how best to help students make improvements in their quest for vocal and interpretive excellence.”

Fleming was the featured soloist at the 2009 Shepherd School Gala.. At a White House ceremony in July of this year, President Barack Obama awarded Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist. Known as “the people’s diva” and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her CD “Poèmes,” Fleming continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls. She has now extended her reach to include other musical forms and media. Over the past few seasons, Fleming has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD series” for movie theaters and television and “Live From Lincoln Center” on PBS.

“In her typical gracious and generous way, Ms. Fleming, while here to perform for the Houston Symphony’s opening gala, has agreed to spend time with students from our opera program and share her more-than-extensive knowledge about the physical mechanics of singing and the professional opera world,” said Robert Yekovich, dean of the Shepherd School. “We feel extremely fortunate to welcome her back to the Shepherd School.”

The Aleko Endowed Master Class was created to celebrate the spirit of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s youthful exploration of opera through the composition of his first opera, “Aleko,” composed at age 19. Established through the generous support of a special Shepherd School friend and patron, this annual master class brings guest artists of international distinction in the fields of voice and opera to instruct young singers at the Shepherd School.

The class is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served; no tickets are required.

For more information on Fleming, visit


About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.