In today’s Orange County Register online, I review Renee Fleming’s recital last night, given in honor of Henry Segerstrom’s 88th birthday. Here’s an excerpt.


They call her “the people’s diva,” which is a little like “the average Joe’s caviar.” Is there such a thing? Well, Renée Fleming comes pretty close. She plays the “diva” part very well, not in any snobby way, but wearing her regal elegance as it were just a necessary component to her show. She wears it comfortably, easily; it’s just another role and otherwise she’s a mom who happens to sing like an angel.

Fleming, who sang a curious and varied recital before a sold-out audience in Segerstrom Concert Hall on Tuesday night, was in town to celebrate the 88th birthday of the Orange County arts patron to end all arts patrons, Henry Segerstrom, who sat ensconced with his wife above the stage taking it all in. Outside, a red carpet and roving spotlights greeted listeners. A Fleming documentary played on a giant screen. Wine and popcorn were passed out free. Folks dressed up for a change.

Click here to read the whole thing, or pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Register.