It’s official—there will be a soprano present in New Jersey for the big game this Sunday.
To be clear, that individual will be Renee Fleming, an award-winning opera singer and world-renowned lyric soprano.
Introduced as “the Peyton Manning of the opera world” at a Super Bowl press conference on Thursday, Fleming will become the first artist of her discipline to sing the national anthem at a Super Bowl game.
According to Ronni Reich of The Star-Ledger, the 54-year-old American soprano told reporters she has been losing sleep thinking about her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“I’ve probably sung it through in my mind and vocally 800 times in the last three weeks,” Fleming said. “I haven’t been sleeping as it is, and now I expect the last few nights to be equally rough.”
Despite her anxiety, Fleming hopes to make a lasting impression with her voice.
“Given the strength of feeling behind this and the patriotism we have in this country, I wanted to present it in quite a serious way,” Fleming said. “I wanted to do something reverent and exultant.”
This is information worth noting should you feel compelled to take a flyer on a goofy prop bet like the length of the Super Bowl national anthem.
As it currently stands, the over/under on Fleming’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is 139.5 seconds, per SportsBook.com. As of Friday morning, the odds favor the under (-150) with the over sitting at +110. The clock measuring the anthem starts on Fleming’s first note and ends when she has completed the word “brave.”
Knowing that Fleming is a classically trained opera singer could mean a longer rendition of the song with soaring, drawn out vocals. Or it might not affect the length at all and you’ll have to pay your landlord in gum for the next several months.
No bet is a sure thing, but considering the nature of the singer and the situation at hand, this author would take the over.
Fleming is the “Peyton Manning of the opera world” and she has one chance to score at the biggest sporting event in North America. I’d say she drops back and chucks up a long, long touchdown ball.
But will there be cowbell?