When Renee Fleming appears Sept. 15 with the
Is it fun to play dress-up in a way most of us just dream about?
Oh, yes. It's fun for designers, too, I think. It also sparks their imagination because of the legend of the diva onstage — and diva is the word because it means goddess. It's something that is always accompanied by some visual aspect that sparks the audience's imagination as well. It can be over the top.
Do you find that there is a certain standard that people expect you to top every time?
Absolutely. I'm lucky. ... I've gotten to work with such amazing people. ... The other thing I have to balance it with is that I have to travel with these gowns, and that can be very challenging sometimes. Just like everyone else, I'm subject to the same weight restrictions and luggage restrictions. And the days of showing up with five trunks and 18 small bags for opera singers are really over.
When I sang for the
A quote from somewhere referred to a dress as a meringue. That's what came to mind with that dress.
Yeah, I call it a confection. I say this is a birthday cake, this dress.
Do you have some all-time favorite dresses or gowns that you've worn?
It's too hard. There are just too many. ...
Do you know what you're wearing for the BSO Gala?
Yes, I'm wearing Sanchez. No. I'm wearing Hannant.
Is a there a particular reason?
No. They're just the current dresses I have right now. If I'm going to change gowns, it's always the same designer, so I can credit them. It also gives a continuity to the look. I think that's important. Even if the dresses are really different, it's the same designer.
You are a fashion icon to so many. Who are your fashion icons?
Well, I have to say I've always loved
Do your daughters ever get your hand-me-downs?
More than that. All three of us wear the same size shoe. If I'm missing something, I know where to go. ... When I sang "Dark Hope," my rock CD from a couple of years ago, I had a whole new wardrobe for that. And I loved [that] it identified with them, because it was quite young. My youngest daughter is especially into fashion. Bit by bit, she's kind of taken over [those pieces].
What are some of the most common fashion mistakes you see women making?
We've seen people wearing not-appropriate underwear. I believe underwear is everything. ... I would say the foundation is everything. Once you have that in place, then the rest seems to be easier. There's a reason
BSO gala concert
What: Soprano Renee Fleming performs favorites from her operatic repertoire. Black tie optional.
When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15
Tickets: $50, $75 and $100.