Renee Fleming National Anthem Receives Major Critical Acclaim
SUPER SOPRANO: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes, “No one — and I mean no one — will ever do a better version” of the National Anthem “than Renee Fleming did on Sunday.” It was “the best version ever done at a Super Bowl — yep, it even blew away Whitney Houston’s version in Tampa — and the best that will ever be done.” Jones: “Let’s just bring Fleming back every year” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/3). In Pittsburgh, Mark Kanny writes Fleming’s singing was “beautifully sustained and pitch perfect — but did not try to compete with the emotional impact of pop divas who have sung it in years past” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 2/3). In St. Louis, Sarah Bryan Miller wrote Fleming “sang it straight: She didn’t take liberties with the notes, although she did mess with the tempos.” Fleming’s “tuning was absolutely accurate and her high notes gleamed” (STLTODAY.com, 2/2). In N.Y., Zachary Woolfe writes Fleming’s performance was “eminently operatic: confident, sensible and performed with ease, and without the strain … that pop-diva belting entails” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/3). The AP’s Talbott wrote singer Queen Latifah — who sang “America The Beautiful” — and Fleming “proved the perfect choices to sing” before the game. Both women are “accomplished performers and handled the pitfall-ridden material with relative ease in stirring performances that brought cheers from the crowd” (AP, 2/2).