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What you can expect from an opera singer singing the National Anthem

Say it isn't so! No one seems to know what to expect when the National Anthem is delivered into an opera singers professional hands rather than to the typical pop singer for Super Bowl 2014 to take place February 2 Fox New really was stepping out of their league when they said to expect the anthem to be really long because opera singers love to hear the sound of their own voices and want everyone to experience this for as long as possible. People, this is utter tripe. Opera singers are highly trained musicians.

 Opera singer Renée Fleming speaks at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show Press Conference at Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center on January 30, 2014 in New York City.
Opera singer Renée Fleming speaks at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show Press Conference at Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center on January 30, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Here's what to expect and know about 4 time Grammy Award winner Renee Fleming:

  1. A recognizable melody. Opera singers are highly trained musicians. They can read music. Many also play piano and can sit at the piano and teach themselves their music. They have to be able to do this because their music has to be memorized, performed in front of an audience, and the book (called a score) that they learn from is often a few hundred pages long. They know what the composer originally intended and will keep that incessant noodling that some pop singers do to "make it their own." It has been done very purely and well in recent years, but also very badly.
  2. A trained voice that knows how to hit all of the notes. Many a singer has wandered from the center of the pitch. Just because they can lead a rock band doesn't mean they can sing the National Anthem without a backing track.
  3. The New Jersey Symphony. Ms. Fleming knows how to follow a conductor and will be appeared with the support of the New Jersey Symphony.
  4. Renee Fleming is a downhome kind of girl. In opera circles, she's been given the nickname, "The Diva Next Door." The means she's light on the diva. She's also funny. She recently made an appearance on the David Letterman show where she sang a top ten. Please check out the video.
  5. None of Beyonce's excuses. Beyonce skipped the actual singing part, opting for a pre-recorded performance of the National Anthem. That won't be happening. Renee Fleming will sing it live.
  6. The sound crew may get it wrong. Opera singers are trained to project their voices into a large hall without the benefit of amplification. Sound crews are used to settings for people that do not have vocal training at all and aren't trained to be nearly so loud.
  7. Opera is for everyone, not just rich people. In New York City, basically the US capital of classical music, everyone goes to the opera. You might find yourself striking up a conversation with a subway conductor and finding out he has season tickets. You might see young people in the standing room area who paid only $20 for a ticket. The downside is that they have to stand for several hours to watch the opera. The good new is they paid only $20. Most concert tickets are $20 or more, and you also have to stand.
  8. It will last about 2 minutes, so it's not too long to just give her a chance to wow you. If you still can say you hate opera after hearing her for 2 minutes, you haven't wasted your time. You also haven't really seen an opera. Bruno Mars will be performing for the Half-Time Show if that's really more your thing. You can also like both.

In recent years, this column has covered The Superbowl of Singing, that is to say, the National Anthem and the Half-Time Show parts of the Superbowl. Also, please note that when capitalizing National Anthem, it specifically refers to 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' which is the national anthem of the United States. Opera singer Jenny Rivera also has a few additional things to say about opera which you might find helpful before watching the Super Bowl.

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