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Choirs, Music and Other Performances at Olympic Ceremonies


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8 minutes ago, AustralianFan said:

Which ones did you like?
 

I loved at Sydney 2000’s Opening Ceremony, the Millennium Choir of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australa singing the Olympic Hymn.

It’s here to watch if you fast forward to 3:50:04 mark:  Sydney 2000 Olympic Opening Ceremony

 

This is the Choir which followed Sydney 2000 at Athens 2004.  An exceptional performance:

Athens 2004 Opening Ceremony Choir Olympic Hymn

 

 

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Huh. I am a bit surprised, for when I read the title, I thought somebody else had started this thread. :blink:

Frankly, I could live without both the Olympic anthem and choirs altogether. Among the choir performances, the children's choirs are giving me nightmares, especially God Save The Queen in London and the Olympic Anthem for Beijing 2022. I might be alone in this opinion, but the Brazilian anthem at the Rio opening was probably one of my favourite anthem performances, it was just simple and intimate.

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I noticed certain segments of the 2022 ceremony had at least the sound of a choir. However, I don't know if they were pre-recorded or actually in the stadium.

Just about all Olympics during certain portions have dozens of people singing in unison. But they're often not that large, at most numbering in a few dozens. Moreover, for a presentation, they'll file into a stadium then file straight out.

Even the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City, a city known for a choir, didn't have them do as much as they should have or could have. There was a segment with Sting and Yo-Yo Ma. What should have sounded big-time and ceremonial instead was like a regular performance of a soloist and his or her back-up band.

There were a few opera singers at the 1992 games. But without a0 back-up of a choir - there was one in Barcelona's stadium, but they weren't used enough - the sound of those solo singers began to grow tedious. At that point, they didn't fit the scale of a big-time ceremony.

Even a choir accompanying a rap singer can make that singer fit an Olympics.

When I watch videos of the opening of the 1984 summer games, the only reason why they didn't fall flat was because of a full-time 1,000-voice choir.

 

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5 hours ago, StefanMUC said:

Olympic anthem is fine, if sung like in 1994 by Sissel Kyrkjebø.

That was a good one. But without the children's choir, the segment would have lost punch.

This is the 1,000 voice choir I was describing above.

Notice too that the last few chords of Spyridon Samaras anthem have been fine-tuned to have a more heroic sound. The flag carriers look kind of goofy waving at the crowd and a bunch of dudes instead of military types raised the flag. The opposite extreme of that occurred in Beijing.

I think the release of pigeons should be re-introduced to an opening.

 

 

 

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I thought someone would start this thread -- but not Mr. Compulsive-Posting Fingers.  

Anyway -- and it's just too sad and bad what a villainous nation they have become when they have one of the richest cultural legacies on the planet, but the choir's renditions of the Internationale at the Socio 2014 opening is one of favorites -- starting at about 17:50 -- and then watch as thier outfits start to turn into a RIOT OF COLORS!!  So magnificent -- and as I said -- too bad whatever good they had done is stained by the stench of their malevolent actions, cheating, scheming and dishonorable actions.  Such pigs and THUGS!!  
 

 

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8 minutes ago, baron-pierreIV said:

I thought someone would start this thread -- but not Mr. Compulsive-Posting Fingers.  
 

assisting a fellow gamesbidder with a forum to pursue their passion and stay on topic

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9 hours ago, AustralianFan said:

At SLC 2002:

So the Mormon Tabernacle Choir really was one of the participants in 2004. I didn't watch those games, so I wasn't sure if the 2004 OOC had just hired at the time an impromptu group of people in Salt Lake City. Duh to me. 

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2002 had a segment that featured Sting and the cellist Yo-Yo Ma. I don't recall any choral accompaniment. But there actually was a bit of what's known as vocalise. Or where people hum instead of sing words. Because the 2002 choir was used too subtly during that presentation, they were just about not involved at all.

If they instead had provided active back-up singing to the soloist and musician, that would have better fit a big-time ceremony. That would have hero-ized the segment.

 

 

When the 1984 games presented the Olympic anthem, because the musical arranger included a moment of vocalise by the choir, that person (or they) gave Spyridon Samaras composition a nice added touch. Along with that person making the last section of the hymn much better too.

Sometimes the small details can make a big difference. Those details may or may not be a matter of money or budget either.

 

 

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Some people said that the 2016 games opening/closing couldn't be as good as the 2012, etc, were because 2016's budget was smaller.

I don't know how much 2002 had to pay Sting and Yo-Yo Ma to perform. Because it was for the Olympics, they may have done it for a small stipend or waived their fee entirely (I wanna say, yea, uh-huh, right). But even if those two performers were costly or weren't available, the 2002 choir could have done it this way. To me, this format is not only more fitting of what should be the big sound of a ceremony, it's actually more effective:

 

 

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2002 was the last winter games in the US. This is the last summer games in the US.

The choir begins towards the end. I don't know if any Olympics ever had such a long entry of the flag. The flag carriers were more professional than the ones in 1984 were. But, holy moly, their walk into the stadium sure was a long one. The 1996 choir was also dressed in the uniform of a church choir. That really isn't an ideal look for an Olympic games.

Unlike 2002 and 1984, the 1996 choir would stroll into the stadium, do their routine, and then stroll out.

BTW, in the last US summer games before Atlanta, the Olympic tradition of a president, prime minister or some top government official going, "I declare open the games of [host city], celebrating the [insert number] Olympiad of the modern era" was flipped around. Ronald Reagan switched the predicate to "I declare open the games of Los Angeles." His sense of word play was better. He fine-tuned a detail of the Olympics. Similarly, the musical arranger in 1984 improved upon the last segment of the games' official hymn.

 

 

 

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/\/\  I'm surprised you're not scrutinizing the velcro straps worn by some of the musicians -- or the way the earpieces were overlaid with the toupees and wigs.  You ARE flagging in your post-modern critical faculties!! 

BTW, you keep securitizing every note and croak of all these choirs, especially, say the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in SLC 2002 -- you do realize that because the cold night exterior temps affect both musical instruments and human voices, much of the music and sounds for SLC 2002 and other open air Ceremonies as well, were pre-recorded?  (As was Pavarotti's farewell aria Nessum Dorma 4 years later -- as he was already quite ill.  And I believe it was from an earlier recording when he was in his prime -- NOT with the ensemble recruited for the Torino 2006 ceremonies.)  And Sydney 2000 used the greatest amount of pre-recorded music (98%) due to acoustics of the venue.  

So it's really funny you scrutinizing every crick and croak when those are probably due to recording/reproduction glitches.  :rolleyes: :lol:

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9 minutes ago, baron-pierreIV said:

And Sydney 2000 used the greatest amount of pre-recorded music (98%) due to acoustics of the venue.  

So it's really funny you scrutinizing every crick and croak when those are probably due to recording/reproduction glitches.  :rolleyes: :lol:

 

Didn't know that. Interesting.

I noticed segments of the 2022 opening did have the sound of a choir. But it sounded pre-recorded, too shiny instead of live-live. Not sure, however.

If so, recorded versus live loses something in translation. It's similar to using real pigeons in ceremonies years ago versus now using only replicas or stuffed versions of them.

I watched a segment of the 1984 opening where they do music from "A Chorus Line." You can easily tell that was from a in-studio rendition and not the actual choir. That moment was less effective IMHO because they played a sound track.

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