Renowned soprano Renée Fleming has mastered the operas of Mozart and Puccini throughout her storied career. On Feb. 2, she will head to East Rutherford, NJ to take on a very different audience at Super Bowl XLVIII.
The National Football League announced today that Fleming will be singing the national anthem at MetLife Stadium prior to the game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
The announcement breaks up the recent trend of divas from the popular music world singing the anthem. Last year's honors went to Alicia Keys; prior to that, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, and Jordan Sparks performed "The Star Spangled Banner," dating back to 2008.
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Last July, Barack Obama presented Fleming with the 2012 National Medal of the Arts Award, the highest award presented to artists by the US government. Previously, she has performed at events like the the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2008, she became the first woman in the 125-year history of New York's Metropolitan Opera to solo headline its opening night gala.
Actress Amber Zion will be performing alongside Fleming, interpreting the anthem in American Sign Language.
As previously announced, the Super Bowl halftime show will feature 2013 Billboard Artist of the Year Bruno Mars, backed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.