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Tenors, sopranos, singing daughters, and getting glamorous in 10 minutes
Maureen Dowd: Tenors are dumber and more neurotic than sopranos.
Renée Fleming: I wouldn't say dumber. I would say more neurotic probably because they have a greater risk. If a tenor fails, it's much more obvious than when a soprano fails because they are singing with their chest voice, full throated. And so when they fail, there's a huge split or a crack. And when a soprano fails, it's just unattractive.
MD: Tenors are often shorter than their soprano partners.
RF: Tenors have not, by and large, been a tall singing bloc. And there have been a lot of Latin American tenors. There's something in the language and maybe the mariachi tradition.
MD: You hate your fach.
RF: Yeah. I wish my fach were broader, but I'm happy being a lyric soprano.
MD: You are the only opera singer to have an asteroid named for you.
RF: Truth, yes. I said, "That's thrilling. I really am a star!"
MD: You sometimes talk to your husband in Sindarin in romantic situations.
RF: No, but he would probably love that. We could try to improve.
MD: You baked cookies with Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg.
RF: I did and that was surreal. And of that trio, I am the one who is out because Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg have collaborated in other ways. But I'm not a good cook, so I'm sure that was it.
MD: You can get glamorous in 10 minutes.
RF: I would say that's true. I don't like to spend a lot of time on it with one exception, my hair. There's a reason why my escape plan is just to shave my head. It's a pain.
MD: You've learned 50 operas in six languages.
RF: Confirm. The first time I learned Russian for Eugene Onegin, my first child was a month old and I kept thinking: "What is wrong with me? This is not sinking in." And then, of course, a couple years later, they started talking about what happens to women hormonally when they've had a baby, which is they're stupid for a while.
MD: Both your daughters can sing.
RF: Definitely. They're wonderful singers, but they know too much. They've opted for other careers. NYTIMES