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Choirs, Music and Other Performances at Olympic Ceremonies

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On 3/19/2022 at 10:53 AM, 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:


Because pre-recorded music was used in 1984, look at how cheap this "choir" sounds. An obviously pre-recorded track gave this segment a discount-store quality:

However, the low-cost costumes at least didn't make the dancers look like they were space aliens from planet Cirque de Soleil.  

The real choir sort of saves the day by kicking in a few minutes later. But it shows how live versus pre-recorded does affect the quality of an event.

Side note: The broadcast flashed on a shot of one of the games' spectators, old-time actor Cary Grant. Hey, he ties in with the 1964 games.
He starred in a 1966 comedy based on Tokyo's 1964 Olympics.

Another things: Olympic ceremonies decades ago were actually more carbon neutral or environmentally friendly. The grass of the infield at least wasn't covered with a huge vinyl or plastic sheet. More carbon gas also wasn't expended creating material to lay above a stadium's running.track.


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Okay, two of my favourites from London 2012…

I’m not usually a fan of Russell Brand, but I am of the Beatles. So pleasantly surprised that it was “I Am The Walrus” that got picked from the Lennon-McCartney catalogue 


And then there’s The Kinks. “Waterloo Sunset” perfectly suited the wistful nature of a closing ceremony



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5 hours ago, Sir Rols said:

And then there’s The Kinks. “Waterloo Sunset” perfectly suited the wistful nature of a closing ceremony


I've never seen that segment of 2012's opening (or closing) before.

Whoa. Did the 2012 OOC use enough props for their ceremonies?

I like the big semis driving around the running track, the one covered to look like a two-lane highway. .

I just read that Sebastian Coe's current wife is a British-born woman who now operates out of LA. Coe also says he stays in close contact with Casey Wasserman.

The 2028 games may end up throwing in the kitchen sink too. Except it will themed to LA/America instead of London/UK.

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21 hours ago, baron-pierreIV said:

been there, done that.


Speaking of which, there's Lennon's "Imagine." Some people have said using that tune at Olympic ceremonies is becoming too much a cliche.

There was a children's choir performing it in 2012. But it came off like a tribute to Lennon, not the Olympics and its participants. Even the choir wearing "Imagine" imprinted on their T-shirts made the segment seem like a commercial for Lennon's estate. And the fiberglass parts to create his face too.

Tokyo had another youth choir too. But it got pushed aside by some celebrities. Or at least 3 of the 4 are well known in the US and South America. All were pre-recorded, of course.

Even if the stadium were packed with spectators, that segment still probably would have come up as way too canned.

At the games in Beijing, they had some solo singer doing the piece. Pre-recorded too, no doubt. The visuals, however, at least were sports-oriented.



Some have described the 2022 ceremonies/games as soulless. Some of that may be due to geopolitics and an Orwellian-1984 culture. But in their own way, the 2012 and 2020/2021 openings/closings were not much less so-called soulless too.

The 2020 games had amazing drone technology. But Tokyo's second Olympics (pandemic or not) seemed to have less charm and prestige than the old-tech 1964 games did.

If all three had used large, on-site choirs, even "Imagine" wouldn't necessarily have come off as overused:



^ An unknown singer with a formal choir as back-up in Tokyo would have been more effective than Legend, Urban, Kidjo and Sanz combined.

Some of the background music at the next Olympics, the 2022 winter games, was very traditional and international. For instance, Beethoven's Ode to Joy. I think the Beijing 2022 OOC hired a director who had a fairly good sense of how an Olympic opening/closing should be. Or what it's all about.


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8 minutes ago, baron-pierreIV said:

/\/\ I had posted that in a previous thread about this same subject.  Why is Oly2028 always LATE to the party? With him, everything just seems deja vu.  

I knew Imagine had a few outings at the games, but I never realised it had THAT many renditions. 

I’ve argued elsewhere that it’s an Olympic song par excellence. They might as well go the whole hog and just use it to replace that horrible dirge of an Olympic anthem they’d have. It sounds like a rejected tune by Verdi. I mean, who the hell wants to listen to some 19th century choral bombast these days  ;)?

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59 minutes ago, Nacholympic said:

...and Peter Gabriel ft. Yoko Ono in Torino 2006 OC


Holy sheet. Now I understand why some people have complained about "Imagine" becoming overused at Olympic ceremonies. lol.

Anyone of those performances would have had a big-sound ceremonial quality or hero-ized if a large back-up choir had been a part of the segment.

Notice the Olympic flag in the stadium in Torino was on a flagpole situated all by itself. Which is the way it should be.

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25 minutes ago, Nacholympic said:

I didn't remember that Imagine was also played at Atlanta's CC

Me too. That's the first I've even seen that.

At least Wonder had a bit of back-up from that small choir standing behind him. But they did mainly vocalise (or humming). But they were more active in that segment than the choir at the 2002 winter games were when Sting and Yo-Yo Ma were performing.

Even a piece as inappropriate for an Olympic ceremony as this can be given a heroic sound if a choir performs back-up and are orchestrated correctly.

I think I'd rather see this in 2028 than sit through another round of a single-solo version of "Imagine." lol.



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