'China's Three Tenors' salute London's Olympics

Updated: 2012-07-26 21:50:39

By Mu Qian ( chinadaily.com.cn)

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China gave the UK its best wishes for a successful Olympics with a concert Wednesday that featured three of China's most renowned tenors.

Dai Yuqiang, Wei Song and Warren Mok, backed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra of the UK, included in their performance You and Me, the theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, at the Barbican Center of London.

The song was the climax of the "Best Wishes from Beijing — China's Three Tenors London Concert", which took place two days before the 2012 Olympic Games begin.

"Beijing was host city of the 2008 Olympic Games, and we selected You and Me especially to express our best wishes for the 2012 Olympic Games," Dai said.

A video during the concert showed Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong handing the Olympic flag to London Mayor Boris Johnson at the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Opening with English composer Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Greensleeves by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, the concert presented a program that was half-Western, half-Chinese, including classic opera arias like La Donna e Mobile from Verdi's Rigoletto, and La Fleur Que Tu M'avais Jetee from Bizet's Carmen; Chinese art songs such as That's Me and The Big River of No Return; and Chinese folk songs like Kangding Love Song and The Small Stream Flows.

"The ‘China's Three Tenors' concerts are dialogues between Chinese and Western cultures," concert General Director Zhang Shurong said. "Chinese vocalists have made remarkable achievements in the world, and they are contributing much to the promotion of Chinese culture."

Formed in 2011, "China's Three Tenors" are China's answer to the world's three most famous tenors — Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras — who performed in Beijing in 2001 to cheer China's successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.

"Pavarotti, Domingo and Pavarotti are our idols. They have made bel canto easier to appreciate for common people," Mok said.

"What we try to do is make Chinese culture more accessible through our performance in a way that is familiar to the world audiences."

Since China's Three Tenors premiered in Beijing last year, the trio has performed in more than 10 Chinese cities, including Shenzhen, Chengdu and Hong Kong. The three also performed at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York in January. They will tour Germany and Italy later this year.

China's Three Tenors London Concert is part of the Beijing Culture Week in London, which is being organized by the Beijing Performance and Arts Group from July 24 to 31.

The Beijing Culture Week in London also includes performances by the Northern Kunqu Opera Theater and Beijing Symphony Orchestra, the "Colourful Beijing" Culture and Arts Exhibition, and the Beijing Olympic City Development Forum.

Medal Count

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2 38 27 22
3 29 17 19
4 24 25 33
5 13 8 7
6 11 19 14

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