Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
Her last eve-of-Super Bowl interview:
Ghastly arrangement. She did okay, though I heard a wobble on “banner” and she should have skipped that final “brave”. No evidence that the crowd was signally moved — the applause was polite rasther than impressed.
I didn’t care greatly for Whitney Houston’s arrangement back in the day either, but it was a far better performance.
And she ROCKED it!!
She was fabulous!
Sorry, but much as Renee Fleming (and Payton Manning) are icons, the rendition was mannered- great voice, crappy interpretation. And, where, pray tell, was the governor??? Hiding in one of the towers of the GW bridge?
She was incredible! Think of the venue, the cold, the echo! Terrific job. Ed, you need to get a grip on life and enjoy the moment! I agree with Marie Therese, “she rocked it”!
Francesca- My dear, I can’t agree. I thought it was overdone to the point of being a bit perverse. When you’re sober and not so star struck, listen to it again. (And the cold? was it really? and the venue? semi-polluted ‘Meadowlands’? And the echo? What?? a cathedral of major league football?) I would have preferred something more noble and dignified- THAT would have been a moment I would have enjoyed and cherished. As for the voice, it was, as always, beautiful, so it is not a slam on her vocal skill, or her artistry on the operatic stage, only on her conception of our national anthem. But I suppose in comparison to the really perverse renditions we’ve suffered through, this one was much better. So, maybe while she didn’t “rock it”, she didn’t totally wreck it.
Sounds like a classical nerd’s take on “rocked.” That stadium did not look “rocked,” and she, rather than rocking it, delivered it in variable and seemingly arbitrary tempi. Don’t think she turned many football people on to opera. Doubt they will be asking another opera star any time soon.
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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