First, Renée Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl on Sunday. Now another world-renowned opera singer has performed at the opening of another major sports event.
Anna Netrebko -- the famed Russian-born soprano -- performed on Friday at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Netrebko sang the Olympic Anthem as the Olympic flag was presented during the ceremony, which took place at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.
The opening ceremony will be televised in the U.S. Friday evening on NBC. The Olympic Anthem -- also known as the Olympic Hymn -- is traditionally performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of Olympic games and has been sung by a number of operatic luminaries including Plácido Domingo, who performed the song at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Written by Greek composer Spyridon Samaras, the Olympic Anthem is usually performed in the language of the host country. On Friday, Netrebko, dressed in an elaborate light-blue gown, sang the cantata in Russian, backed by a male chorus.
Netrebko was born in 1971 in Russia, though she officially took up Austrian citizenship in 2006. The soprano recently appeared in a production of Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.