Monday, July 23, 2012

Domingo, Terfel and Fleming Bring Olympic Spirit to London Opening

Opera singer Renee Fleming performs
"Vissi d'Arte" on stage during the Opening
Ceremony of the 124th IOC Session, prior

to the start of the London 2012
Olympic Games at The Royal Opera House
on July 23, 2012 in London, England.
"It's not often that Placido Domingo is upstaged at the Royal Opera House. Yet flamboyant London Mayor Boris Johnson managed to pull it off at a star-studded Olympic gala on Monday night. Opera stars Domingo, Renee Fleming and Bryn Terfel were the headline performers at the opening ceremony of the International Olympic Committee session at the famous venue in Covent Garden. But it was Johnson who brought the house down with his bombastic recital — in ancient Greek — of a Pindaric Ode for the London Games. After the Greek version, he paused and said 'which roughly translates as' before reading out the ode in English. It included word plays on the names of Olympic champions, including the 'lighting bolt around the track.' Pindar was an ancient Greek lyric poet famous for his victory odes. Johnson, who studied classics at Oxford, commissioned the poem for the games. It was written by Oxford academic Armand D'Angour and consists of six verses in rhyming couplets. Johnson received a huge round of cheers, applause and whistles from the packed theater, a bigger ovation than that received later for Domingo and Terfel's duet performance of Bellini's final opera and Fleming's Puccini aria." [Source]

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