American soprano, Renée Fleming is going, to break through a barrier next month by being the first opera singer to sing the National Anthem at the Superbowl XLVIII. (Go Peyton Manning!)
It’s such a rarity for a classical music artist to play at such an event that the Washington Post anticipates some classical music purists will eventually be up in arms about it. At the same time, it’s not entirely unheard of for classically trained musicians to play at sporting events, but it certainly doesn’t happen very often. Perhaps we can work to change that – especially in a never-ending challenge faced by arts organizations all around the country to put people in the seats of their theaters! This article from the New York Times’ Arts Beat blog mentions a few other performers who were at least (kind of) close to this caliber of musician.
In the same vein as Malcolm McDowell and James Earl Jones’ reading of text messages and Facebook posts, Ms. Fleming has ventured away from the stage into something a bit more recognizably accessible to the rest of the world. Take a look at David Letterman’s Top 10 List from one night last September: Top 10 Opera Lyrics. It’s pretty hilarious – you should definitely watch it!
She’s fantastic, isn’t she? Gotta love a healthy sense of humor!
Photo of Renée Fleming pulled off a google search. Photographer Jonathan Tichler.