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SUNY Potsdam graduate to be first opera star to sing National Anthem at the Super Bowl

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POTSDAM - Whether they’re rooting for the Broncos or the Seahawks, the faculty, staff, students and alumni at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music will all be cheering for Renée Fleming ‘81 as she sings the national anthem at the 2014 Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

The NFL announced Tuesday that the world-renowned soprano is set to make history, as the first opera singer to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.

Fleming, a 1981 graduate of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, will perform as part of the pregame festivities at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., which will be broadcast worldwide on Fox. More than 164 million viewers in the U.S. watched last year’s Super Bowl, making it the most-watched television program in history.

“The Crane School of Music continues to cherish the many-faceted career of our beloved Renée Fleming, as we follow her ongoing work as a singer, as a spokesperson and advocate for the arts, and as an artistic leader around the world. We will join the tens of millions hearing her magnificent voice before the Super Bowl with special Potsdam pride!” said Crane School of Music Dean Dr. Michael Sitton.

Fleming will make her Super Bowl debut. She is among many great performers who have been honored with singing the Super Bowl national anthem, including Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Whitney Houston, Harry Connick Jr., Garth Brooks, Natalie Cole, Vanessa Williams, Luther Vandross, Jewel, Cher, Faith Hill, the Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, the Dixie Chicks, Beyoncé Knowles and Christina Aguilera.

Known as “the people’s diva,” Fleming is a four-time Grammy winner, including the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. One of the world’s most beloved and celebrated singers, she captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice and consummate artistry, both on the world’s greatest opera stages and in concert halls.

Fleming has performed at other major events worldwide, including the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the Olympics in Beijing. At a White House ceremony last July, President Barack Obama awarded Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist.

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