LSM Newswire

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Renee Fleming with the PSO

Rene Fleming Benefit Concert with Robert Moody and Portland Symphony Orchestra Merrill's Highest Grossing Show in History
In the wake of financial hardship at the PSO, concert brings record sales

PORTLAND, Maine Some much-needed good news for the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and the arts community in Maine: last night's once-in-a-lifetime endowment benefit concert featuring superstar soprano Rene Fleming in her Maine debut was the highest grossing show in the history of Merrill Auditorium.

The concert sold out a week in advance and will contribute over $50,000 to the PSO's battered Endowment Fund. This is the first time in the almost 85-year history of the PSO that the organization has held an endowment benefit concert.

Rene Fleming charmed audiences at Merrill with her performances from both the classical and popular repertoire including: Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs, "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady, "Summertime" from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and more.

The PSO's endowment provides financial security for the PSO's concert and education activities, and acts as a safety net especially during fluctuations in the economic climate. "This concert was a positive step in the right direction for the PSO during this time of increasing financial hardship," said PSO Executive Director Ari Solotoff. Solotoff added, "Rene Fleming was a smashing success with the PSO it was a thrill to have her perform, and a coup for our city, the Symphony, and the community members who had the opportunity to see Ms. Fleming in this unprecedented concert opportunity."

Serving the city of Portland, the state of Maine, and northern New England, the PSO is the largest performing arts organization in the state. With new musical leadership, critically acclaimed performances, and broad community engagement, the PSO is among the top symphony orchestras of its size in the country. For complete season information, including artist biographies and program notes, visit

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