"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Before The Super Bowl Renee Fleming Performed In Another Big Arena

With parents who were both music teachers, Renée Fleming was born to sing. On February 2, 2014, Fleming will become the first opera singer ever to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. However, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” is no easy feat. It is known for being a difficult song to sing because of its one-and-a-half octave range. The song is based on a poem by Francis Scott Key and set to a popular British tune by John Stafford Smith.

If anyone were capable of pulling off such a song in a high-profile arena, it would be Renée Fleming. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir happens to know this firsthand, as Fleming was the guest artist for the Choir’s annual Christmas concert in 2005. Fleming and the Choir performed in the 21,000-seat Conference Center to a combined attendance of over 80,000 people. Known for her captivating stage presence, Fleming once said, “I don’t want to be somebody who stands still and sings pretty. Each song is a world. Each song is a story.”

On the topic of performing with the Choir, Fleming said, “I’ve lived in New York all my life, and we went to the Mormon Pageant each year in upstate New York. It still is a wonderful production. I remember going and seeing the performance and listening to the music. My father had Mormon Tabernacle Choir music, and we would listen to it and sing with it.”

For more information about Ms. Fleming and videos of her performances, visit her guest artist page on our website.