I missed the spring opera in New York, and I'll miss the fall, but right now I'm not feeling bad about it.
Thursday night was the fourth concert of the Divas in Beijing series. The concert took place in the Great Hall of the People, the main entrance of which faces Tiananmen Square. Renee Fleming, Sumi Jo, Ramon Vargas and Dmitri Hvorostovsky all appeared on the same stage. They performed a range of material, including Rossini, Puccini, Tchaikovsky and Verdi.
Tenor Ramon Vargas has a voice like a dream. He was a replacement for another tenor who was not able to make the show, but he is headline worthy in his own stead.
For me, however, the top moment in the show was during one of the encores. Conductor Nicola Luisotti played piano accompaniment to Renee Fleming, who sang a jazz version of Gershwin's Summertime - and sang scat.
Yes, opera fans, Renee Fleming sang scat. It was a showstopper.