‘No one would argue that London isn’t missing a great concert hall – there is a need,’ says Sir Simon
The Winter Olympics opened with a celebration of classical music and ballet, with a performance from star opera singer Anna Netrebko.
Tchaikovsky made an appearance at the very start in a Russian ABC video, detailing key figures and events in Russian history for each of the 33 letters in the Cyrillic alphabet, alongside Nabukov, Chekov, Russian Space travel and the Periodic Table. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake also featured later on in the ceremony.
Borodin's Polovtsian dances from his opera Prince Igor opened the games as Liza Temnikova flew through a winter dreamscape, representing the diversity of Russia, accompanied by chanting and choral singing. Music by Russian masters Khachaturian and Stravinsky also featured during the two-hour, £31billion spectacular, with the famous Firebird Suite being played as the Olympic cauldron was lit.
The Russian national anthem was performed by Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir, with the Olympic Anthem performed by opera star Anna Netrebko with a choral accompaniment. The musicians were conducted by esteemed conductor Valery Gergiev.