Thursday, February 6, 2014
Will Renée Fleming's Super Bowl Exposure Catapult Her To Next Level?
On February 2, 2014, Renée Fleming sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" for Super Bowl XLVIII to a stadium with a capacity of 82,566 people in addition to a home-viewing audience of 111.5 million (the largest in the history of American television). The response to an opera singer performing America's National Anthem for the first time in the sports event's history came swiftly from the Twitter crowd, Facebook followers and YouTube commentators. The general public, more accustomed to the likes of Christina Aguilera, Dixie Chicks, and Beyoncé Knowles warbling out the famous tune, was surprisingly supportive with positive feedback. What does all of this media exposure mean to Renée Fleming and her illustrious career? At the time of this writing, the video of the event on YouTube has been viewed over 800,000 times. Taking a look at the artist's Facebook page days before the Super Bowl appearance, she had just over 77,000 "likes" and now the page stands at 94,362. No official data has been released on whether record and MP3 sales have skyrocketed, but a quick glimpse at Amazon.com shows that the Decca-exclusive artist has three albums in the top-20 best seller list for opera & vocal (Guilty Pleasures, The Art of Renée Fleming, and her self-titled album from 2000). Next week's results may yield a more revealing story. Be sure to keep an eye on the Billboard charts. The opera star has already sung for the Queen of England, the President of the United States, and has even read the "Top 10 List" on Late Show with David Letterman. Two nights after the Super Bowl, the soprano was back at the Metropolitan Opera performing the title role in Dvořák's Rusalka to a crowd of 4,000. How large that number must seem to a young singer at the beginning of their career and how small it must feel after performing at the Super Bowl. Are there going to be stadium concerts in the future that will sell out the likes of "The Three Tenors" during it's most popular days? Unlikely. The real question: What is the next level? Write a book? Done. Appear in a movie? Done. Win a Grammy Award? Done (4 times). Act in a stage play? That's coming too. Perhaps she really isn't looking for more. After all the accomplishments, she might list happy wife and proud mother as her most cherished. And for the fashionistas that are wondering, she wore "...a custom Vera Wang black long sleeve gown with pleated accent at the waist, and an ivory silk faille floor length wrap coat with exposed shoulder and hand draped detail." [Source, Source]