Renee Fleming to star on Broadway for first time

Renee Fleming at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in May.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Having played dozens of roles on the operatic stage, Renee Fleming will venture into new territory this spring when she makes her Broadway debut in the play “Living on Love.” The soprano will reprise the role of a temperamental opera diva that she first performed this summer in a brief run of the comedy at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts.

“Living on Love,” written by Joe DiPietro, is scheduled to officially open April 20 at the Longacre Theatre in New York, producers announced Monday. The production is to be directed by Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall, who staged the production at Williamstown.

In the play, Fleming plays Raquel De Angelis, an opera singer who spars with her conductor husband when he falls for the young woman hired to write his memoirs. In retaliation, De Angelis hires a young man to pen her memoirs, causing even more marital friction.

No additional casting has been announced for the Broadway production. At Williamstown, the roles of the young assistants were played by Anna Chlumsky (of HBO’s “Veep”) and Justin Long, with Douglas Sills as the maestro.


DiPietro based his play on the stage comedy “Peccadillo” by Garson Kanin. Williamstown has served as an incubator for a number of productions that have gone on to Broadway, including the current revival of “The Elephant Man,” starring Bradley Cooper.

Another recent Williamstown production, a revival of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love,” starring Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell, is also headed to Broadway in 2015.

Before Fleming makes her Broadway bow, she will open a new production of “The Merry Widow” 20 blocks north at the Metropolitan Opera on New Year’s Eve. The soprano appeared with Los Angeles Opera in May in a production of Andre Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT