Fleming's performance is receiving mixed reviews so far.
Although Renee Fleming’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner last night may have been slightly overshadowed by Bruno Mars’ half-time show, the soprano singer managed to shine none the less. Fleming’s appointment to open the game was an obvious departure from the NFL’s recent tradition to give the job to a pop singer – Fleming is an opera soprano and one of the most respected classical singers in the US, so she was bound to deliver a show-stopping performance. Most importantly, she didn’t mess up the lyrics, which is a step up from… other performances in recent memory.
Fleming's appointment to sing the anthem was a breakthrough for classical singers into a whole new market.
Fleming delivered a more poppy Star-Spangled Banner than one might expect from an opera singer. Even though she certainly sang with the kind of skill and control that can only be achieved through classical training, the embellishments she added to parts of the song sounded closer to a more disciplined Mariah Carey, than a straight-up classical singer.
And your Super Bowl performer this year is... Renee Fleming. Let's see what she's up against.
Opera soprano Renee Fleming has been announced to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2. Fleming’s appointment is a pretty big deal, considering that the Super Bowl is easily the most watched television event of the year in the US. Last year, 111 million people nationwide tuned into the game, the infamous Super Bowl ads and, of course, the half time show. Fleming is also a bit of an unusual choice, given that the anthem has been performed by mainstream pop stars every year for the past decade.
When it comes to performing live, Fleming is a trusted veteran.
Some of the performances have been stunning and unforgettable, like Aretha Franklin’s 2006 rendition, while others, like Christina Aguilera’s 2011 blunder might be better left forgotten. Hopefully, this year’s anthem performance will have patriots in tears (the good kind), but if not, there are always these historical renditions to look back on fondly.