Super Bowl and Opera: What's the Connection?

For those of you who watched the Super Bowl this past Sunday evening, you probably know the answer to that.  For anyone who’s been living on another planet, here’s how it goes:  athletic events are always preceded by someone singing the National Anthem, also sometimes know as “Oh Say Can you See?”

Previous Super Bowls have seen/heard quite a variety of artists, singing this beautiful, but difficult to sing, song.  We have heard Faith Hill (2000), The Backstreet Boys (2001), Beyoncé (2004), Diana Ross (1982), and Barry Manilow (1984) and so many more.  This year, for the first time ever, the powers that be decided to choose an opera singer!  And this was none other than the famous soprano, Renee Fleming.

Also the Super Bowl was one of the less-exciting games ever played, with the Seattle Seahawks beating the Denver Broncos soundly (and unexpectedly!).  But Renee Fleming’s performance of our National Anthem was spectacular!  I think it could well be the most beautiful and moving performance of this song that I’ve ever heard.  Listen as Renee Fleming performs this difficult song and in a way that powerfully conveys the meaning of these words. You’ll also enjoy watching the faces of the athletes as she sings. They are also obviously moved by her performance!


3 Responses to Super Bowl and Opera: What's the Connection?

  1. Avatar
    John Henderson February 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    She was technically Ok. I prefer the song a little faster. As I sang along , I felt I was pulling her through the song.

    Try this

  2. Avatar
    John Henderson February 6, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    and then try this one

  3. Dr. Alice Cash
    Dr. Alice Cash March 4, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Thanks for your comments, John. That’s the wonderful thing about music! We all have our individual taste even with the same piece of music. The version you prefer is a great, traditional studio-recorded version, intended for people to sing along! Renee Fleming’s version was for performance at the Super Bowl and is her operatic interpretation, not intended to be sung along with. Most of the people invited to sing this at the Super Bowl have very unique interpretations, not intended really, to be sung along with? That’s my 2 cents worth, anyway?
    I’d love to know what others think?!

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