Renée Fleming, America's Go-To Diva, To Sing At McCain Memorial In Washington

Aug 29, 2018
Originally published on August 29, 2018 1:35 pm

Renée Fleming is becoming America's go-to singer. The celebrated soprano, who has performed at a broad range of high-profile events off the opera stage, is scheduled to sing at Senator John McCain's memorial service this Saturday at Washington's National Cathedral.

Fleming is slated to sing the Irish standard "Danny Boy" — at McCain's request — alongside tributes to the late Senator by Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and a homily by Bay Area Catholic leader Father Edward A. Reese.

Often described as "America's Diva," Fleming has lent her distinctive, silvery voice in times of grief, pomp and comedy, raising her profile among audiences who know little about opera.

Fleming performed at the Concert for America, marking the first anniversary of 9-11. In 2014, Fleming sang the "Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XLVIII. She has performed on Sesame Street, A Prairie Home Companion and, memorably, on The Tonight Show with David Letterman, where she sang the Top Ten List. She's sung at Buckingham Palace and at President Obama's Inaugural Celebration concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

Fleming, who is scaling back portions of her operatic schedule, will release a new album, titled Broadway, next week.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit