As we all know, Pavarotti’s last performance was at the opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Torino (Turin), Italy, in 2006.
Other than that, Pavarotti’s connection to the Olympics is quite miniscule. Or maybe not so: The Three Tenors concert in Beijing in 2001 was by many viewed upon as part of the campaign for China’s bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Pavarotti said that The Three Tenors concert was their support for Beijing’s bid to host the Olympics: “I think Beijing deserves the Olympics in order to be with all the rest of the world, recognised”, Pavarotti said.
I remember that The Three Tenors’ support was criticised at the time for mixing arts and politics, and for basically supporting a non democratic country.
I don’t know if their support did that much for China’s bid for the Olympics, but it surely got people talking about it. And that was maybe a part of the campaign strategy?
Pavarotti joined the Chinese president Jiang Zemin in an impromptu duet of “O Sole Mio” when they met for lunch the day after the concert. That didn’t make it worse, either. All publicity is good publicity?
So, we’re all looking for opening ceremony of London 2012 on Friday 27th July! Will there be fireworks? Will there be dancing? Will there be singing? Opera arias are quite useful in such grand ceremonies!
And who will light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony? How about the Pavarotti lookalike that cheered up rail commuters by breaking into song at Lichfield Trent Valley station in Staffordshire, UK? That’s the man! :)
So, enjoy London 2012, as much or as little as you want. Today’s London related Pavarotti video is Pavarotti singing “Nessun dorma!” (from Puccini’s opera Turandot) from his famous concert in London’s Hyde Park in 1991. This concert is available on Decca CD and DVD.
As Pavarotti performed and recorded in London on many occasions we will get back to several London related Pavarotti blog posts in the future.