EXCLUSIVE: Opera star Renée Fleming will appear in live conversations in September and October tied to the Imax releases of documentary films focused on Paris and Venice.
The “Cities That Sing” installments feature Fleming singing, along with special guests, as well as exploring the two European capitals. (Watch a trailer above.)
The Paris film will premiere at global Imax locations on September 18, and the Venice one will debut on October 30.
Both films are produced by Stage Access and were filmed for Imax using company-certified cameras. In addition to exclusive performances, they feature the art, history, cuisine and music of Paris and Venice.
On September 18, Fleming will participate in a live conversation, which will be simultaneously broadcast across the Imax Live network to other participating theaters. Actor and producer Kelsey Grammer will moderate the discussion with Fleming, including an audience Q&A portion. It will be held at 3 p.m. ET from New York’s AMC Lincoln Square Imax auditorium. Additional playdates for Renée Fleming’s Cities That Sing – Paris will be announced in the week following the conversation.
Imax Corp. has been increasingly focused on live events at its auditoriums, citing recent success with stand-up comedy, concerts and e-sports.
Additional details for Venice, as well as additional destinations for upcoming installments in Renée Fleming’s Cities That Sing will be announced in the coming months.
“My life has taken me to some of the most magical cities around the globe, with legendary opera houses and centuries of musical history,” Fleming said. “It’s thrilling to bring these places — and their glorious music — to audiences with the immersive power and scale of Imax.”
The Paris film includes a performance from Fleming at the historic Théâtre du Châtelet. She is joined onstage by tenor Piotr Beczala and featured performers Axelle Fanyo and Alexandre Duhamel for renditions of well-known opera selections linked to the city of Paris. During a tour of the city, Fleming speaks to couturier Alexis Mabille and opera director Robert Carsen about the connection between music and culture in Paris.
Both films are directed by François-René Martin and produced by Tripp Hornick and Elmar Kruse. Jason Richmond, John Turner and Bruce H. Lipnick are executive producers.
In the Venice film, Fleming welcomes Italian tenor Francesco Meli, baritone Mattia Olivieri and mezzo Paola Gardina to the stage of the fabled Teatro La Fenice. Offstage, Fleming visits the city’s signature canals and other destinations. Fortunato Ortombina and Riccardo Frizza, the artistic director and orchestra conductor, respectively, of La Fenice join Fleming in exploring the city.
“We are honored to have been able to create this remarkable series reinventing how classical music can be enjoyed and connected to culture in the most immersive of experiences with the incomparable Renée Fleming,” said Lipnick, who is founder and CEO of Stage Access. “Fleming’s ability to connect with audiences as both a performer and host is unmatched along with the intimacy and scale of Imax.”
Imax entertainment president Megan Colligan, who came to the company after lengthy exec tenures at Paramount and Fox Searchlight, has spearheaded many of the company’s initiatives beyond the traditional release of Hollywood blockbusters.
“It is an honor to collaborate with Renée Fleming on this groundbreaking series that will bring the grandeur of her music and these unforgettable cities to life in IMAX for the first time,” Colligan said. “We can’t wait to take Ms. Fleming’s fans on an immersive musical journey across some of the world’s most richly historied cities through the unrivaled sight and sound of Imax.”
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