Opera superstar Renée Fleming, who will perform the national anthem at MetLife Stadium on Sunday accompanied by the New Jersey Symphony and 32 standout U.S. military singers, needs no introduction. However, we have to applaud her for one of the liveliest website “clippings” sections we’ve recently come across.
In terms of both navigation and curation, Fleming’s “Kudos” tab is a breezy blast, bracketed by an April 2013 New York Times article and trio of November 2007 New York newspaper reviews of La Traviata. There’s much more to savor in-between, from how Fleming helped organize a one-night comedic event last winter at Chicago’s Second City to the way she took hold of an Albert Hall “Proms” series in the fall of 2010. From Ivan Hewett’s excerpted Telegraph write-up:
One of the two star guests alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jiri Belohlavek was soprano Renée Fleming, and she provided the most ravishing vocal sounds I’ve heard in the Albert Hall these past two months.
Looking resplendent in a purple power frock designed by Vivienne Westwood, she nailed the emotional heart of Strauss’s songs in a way that stilled the waving flags and brought total silence to the packed hall.
Later she found a different tone, defiant and burnished, in an aria from Smetana’s Dalibor, and yet another, a dreamy and innocent tone, for Dvorak’s “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka.
Finally – now with her outfit topped with a frivolous quasi-naval hat and waving a dinky Stars and Stripes – she took Arne’s “Rule Britannia” and made it into a vehicle for some brilliant vocal display. She truly is a complete singer, and right now must surely be in a class of her own.
We are in for a rare treat this Sunday, before the coin is even tossed. Way to go NFL for this championship anthem pick.
[Photo courtesy: reneefleming.com]