One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence as she continues to grace the world's leading opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media. She has appeared with all the major orchestras of Europe and North America and collaborated with many of the greatest conductors of our time. Renée Fleming was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Rochester, New York. Her parents were both teachers of singing, and music formed part of her upbringing. She went on to study at the Juilliard School, holds degrees from the State University of New York at Potsdam and the Eastman School of Music, and was a Fulbright Scholar for study in Germany. Early awards include the 1988 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, the Richard Tucker Award, and the George London Prize. The soprano's breakthrough came in 1988 when she made her debut as the Countess in Mozart's Le nozze de Figaro. Further signature roles include Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, the title roles in Dvořák's Rusalka, Massenet's Manon and Thaïs and Richard Strauss's Arabella, Countess Madeleine in Capriccio and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. Renée Fleming is also a champion of new music and performed in the world premiere of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles at the Metropolitan Opera, sang in the first performances of Floyd's Susannah at the Met and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and created the role of Blanche in the world premiere of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire with the San Francisco Opera. Renée Fleming has been an exclusive recording artist with Decca since 1995 and has made numerous prize-winning recordings. For her album The Beautiful Voice – a collection of favourite songs – she was awarded in 1998 a prize from the Académie du Disque Lyrique and her first Grammy . She has also won three Gramophone Awards: the "Recital Award" for I Want Magic – a collection of American opera arias – and the "Opera Award" and "Record of the Year" for Rusalka, with Ben Heppner and Sir Charles Mackerras. Renée Fleming has been honoured with numerous other awards and has been sought after for numerous distinguished occasions, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to performances in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. Her book, The Inner Voice, was first issued in 2004. An intimate account of her career and creative process, the book is also published in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia.