On Super Bowl Sunday, the soprano Renée Fleming will step out into the arena and sing The Spar-Spangled Banner. Yes, she will actually sing. Unlike the host of Hollywood actors and pop stars who have performed the rite before, this operatic soprano will not lip-synch to a pre-recorded track. She will not gyrate, or fake, or twerk. She will do what she does, which is sing. Beautifully, note perfect.
It is unfortunate that this great sporting event can no longer afford a live orchestra, but the tens of millions who are watching at home will have no difficulty in distinguishing this live singer from so many who performed make-believe with a dead recorded track.
Against the winter’s media soundtrack that opera is an elitist pursuit and classical music is dead, Renée Fleming has a unique opportunity to show the world that opera is a lively art and classical is music for real.
She will not let us down.