Created: 01/31/2014 5:59 PM WHEC.com
By: Justin Granit
A local opera singer is making history as the first opera star to ever sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
Rochester’s daring Renee Fleming, the Churchville native, is one of opera’s most famous artists.
Benton Hess is the musical director of Eastman Opera Theater. He has known Renee for 30 years. He has known her before her four Grammy's and performance at President Obama’s first inaugural celebration. Renee honed her skills at the Eastman School of Music.
In a day and age where it is almost certain an American Idol winner performs the national anthem, the NFL went in a different direction. Renee is the first opera singer to perform the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl and like the NFL’s historic selection of Renee, the league also made a historic selection when naming East Rutherford, New Jersey, the home of this year’s game. The cold temperatures will be a challenge for Renee’s vocals.
So before the coin toss or kick, Renee Fleming will be singing on the world’s stage.