Renee Fleming to sing national anthem at Super Bowl

06:37 PM, Jan 21, 2014

Eastman School of Music graduate Renée Fleming will sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. (AP file photo)/

Written By | Associated Press

Eastman School of Music graduate Renée Fleming will become the first opera singer to perform the national anthem at a Super Bowl.

Fleming, who grew up in Churchville and was awarded the National Medal for the Arts in 2012 by President Obama, is a Grammy Award winner and is a regular leading soprano at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and other top opera houses around the world.

Fleming also stands out for her recordings of musical theater, jazz and pop.

Fleming joins the ranks of Alicia Keys — who sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” last year — Cher, Mariah Carey and The Dixie Chicks.

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will face off in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2 in the Super Bowl.

Amber Zion, a deaf actress who participated in National Technical Institute for the Deaf productions while studying for her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Rochester Institute of Technology, will provide sign language interpretation during the national anthem.

Fleming lives in New York City and is closely identified with the Big Apple, having spent years singing on iconic stages such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

She was last in Rochester in February 2011 for an Eastman School benefit at Eastman Theatre.