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Alan in Montréal

Best Ever Performance of the Olympic Anthem

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And here's another version of the Olympic Anthem, namely the one used for both the opening and closing ceremonies of Nagano 1998. Here's the performance at the closing ceremony, together with that magnificent fanfare "Winter with Light" which Ikarus360 kindly uploaded recently.

This is one of the many clips our friend Guardian (aka rockies77) once uploaded on YouTube. Sadly, this is one of the few clips I downloaded back then. I wished that Guardian would upload his clips again!

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Best by a country mile was Sissel's performance at Lillehammer. All others including Sydney's are at least in second place.

Was just about to suggest that. An amazing simple rendition of the anthem.

Funny thing about Lillehammer - whenever I think about a textbook version of what the Olympics should be, Lillehammer comes to mind. With all due respect to everyone else who hosted before or since, the Norwegians did something truly special.

I think Calgary's closer had an instrumental version only...but will have to confirm that.

Actually, Calgary had two versions at the CC: an acapella choir version as the flag was lowered, then the instrumental version as the flag was carried from the stadium.

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Was just about to suggest that. An amazing simple rendition of the anthem.

Funny thing about Lillehammer - whenever I think about a textbook version of what the Olympics should be, Lillehammer comes to mind. With all due respect to everyone else who hosted before or since, the Norwegians did something truly special.

Wholeheartedly concur...Lillehammer set the benchmark and few if any SOG or OWG hosts seem to have come close since then.

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Actually, Calgary had two versions at the CC: an acapella choir version as the flag was lowered, then the instrumental version as the flag was carried from the stadium.

And in which language was that acapella version aung?

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Barcelona 92 with Agnes Baltsa, it was epic.

Agnes Baltsa did not sing the Olympic Anthem in Barcelona, she only sung a song by Mikis Theodorakis at the opening ceremony while the Olympic Flag was carried into the stadium, around the track and to the flagpole. The Olympic Anthem was performed directly afterwards by Alfredo Kraus. Watch the complete segment with both performances here:

And at the closing ceremony, the Olympic Anthem was performed by Placido Domingo:

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^^ I remember much people didnt liked Alfredo Kraus performance of the anthem, so he was replaced by Placido Domingo on the CC.

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Oh, originally Alfredo Kraus should sing it at the closing ceremony, too? And why didn't they like his performance? I think it was ever energetic and flawless. Or do I have bad hearing? ;)

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By the way, what I also like about the performance at the Barcelona opening ceremony: The moment when the audience applauded in the middle of Kraus' performance because the Olympic Flag started to flutter while being hoisted. That's why I love the Spanish people so much -- they are such passionate people that they applaud immediately whenever something pleases them. Another example for this "way of life" was when King Juan Carlos opened the Games and hadn't finished yet but the audience as already applauding in joy that the Games were finally opened. It was not a gesture of impoliteness but of pure joy. At least that was my impression.

Here's that moment (skip to 9:17):

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I suspect those who felt Measha's performance was over-the-top aren't fans of opera. She sang it like a diva would: to blast the (inflatable) roof off the stadium. I was at a dress for the OC and at the actual CC in Vancouver: she RIPPED it. Everyone was talking about kd and Measha afterwards. Maybe it didn't carry over onto TV.

Having said that, Sissel's is awesome. I do think it works better when sung by a woman or as a choir. I think the 45 second version is better than the looooong one too.

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And in which language was that acapella version aung?

I BELIEVE English, but I'd need to review the tape. Don't hold my feet to the fire on this one.

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Without a doubt of the ceremonies I have witnessed (2002 and beyond) Athens 2004 was the best version followed by Vancouver.

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