Renée Fleming has performed dozens of opera's leading roles in a professional career that has spanned three decades. This month, the soprano is trying something altogether new for her -- she's starring in a stage play.
The new role isn't actually such a huge departure: Fleming plays a beloved American opera star who is contending with aging and the professional challenges that come with no longer being young, or even middle-aged.
"Living on Love," running through Saturday at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, follows the comically competitive relationship between a world-renowned diva, Raquel (Fleming), and her fiery conductor husband, Vito (Douglas Sills).
Writer Joe DiPietro based his play on the stage comedy "Peccadillo" by Garson Kanin. He has re-teamed with director Kathleen Marshall, with whom he worked on the recent Broadway production of "Nice Work If You Can Get It."
As their competitive spirits get the best of them, Raquel and Vito hire rival assistants to help them pen their memoirs. The young guests -- who are played by "Veep" actress Anna Chlumsky and actor Justin Long -- soon find themselves caught up in their employers' emotional games.
Fleming is scheduled to work with another Broadway talent this coming season in a new production of "The Merry Widow" that director Susan Stroman will create at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The soprano appeared in May at Los Angeles Opera in "A Streetcar Named Desire."
The Williamstown Theatre Festival has lured a number of prominent names to its stages, including a production this season of Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love" starring Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda.
In 2012, Bradley Cooper starred in the title role of the festival's production of "The Elephant Man," a part that he will reprise on Broadway this season.
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