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London Mayor Boris Johnson proved himself as an opera diva last night, performing alongside a stellar lineup including Placido Domingo and the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House.
Boris Johnson performed alongside classical music sensations Placido Domingo, Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel, at an exclusive Olympic gala at the Royal Opera House last night. He stole the show after reciting a specially commissioned Ancient Greek poem with great aplomb, which was met by resounding cheers and applause at the opening ceremony of the International Olympic Committee.
The night began with young British composer Alex Wolff’s fanfare composition, specially created for the event, and ended magnificently with another historic Ode: Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, a joint performance by a massed chorus of singers and the Royal Opera ballet dancers. The audience were also treated to performances from singer Justina Gringyte and the Royal Ballet, as well as music from Puccini’s Tosca, and further music by Beethoven.
Johnson received a round of cheers, applause and whistles from the packed theatre. It's not often Placido Domingo is upstaged at the opera house, but Johnson's ovation was the most impressive of the evening, including the applause after Domingo and Terfel's Bellini duet.
Other high profile speakers included Princess Anne, President of the British Olympic Association, who addressed the IOC in a reception earlier in the day, and Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC.
Rogge said: “I am confident the Games will enter into the spirit of this great cosmopolitan city and will leave a lasting legacy."
Which pieces do you think capture the Olympic spirit? Let us know your favourite pieces of sport-inspired classical music.