The 62,000-seat Corinithians Arena prepares for the opening ceremony.
The World Cup "got off to a faltering start" at Corinthians Arena on Thursday night when poor sound quality "left many television viewers unable to enjoy the opening ceremony," according to Ed Malnick of the London TELEGRAPH. Jennifer Lopez took to the stage to sing the official FIFA song "We Are One (Ole Ola)." But while those inside the stadium "were able to enjoy her singing, the experience of many at home was hampered by 'appalling' sound quality," which left the voices of Lopez and rapper Pitbull "sounding faint and 'tinny.'" A source at ITV, which broadcast the ceremony in Britain, said last night that it had “no control” over audio levels because a single feed was distributed around the world. An ITV spokesman said, "The sound problem that regrettably caused some disruption to viewers was caused by a technical issue with the host broadcaster, which provides the coverage of all the action at this year's World Cup" (TELEGRAPH, 6/12
). The BBC reported the "colourful opening ceremony" was a preluade for hosts Brazil beating Croatia 3-1 in the first match. A cast of 660 dancers "paid tribute to the country's nature, people and football with a show around a 'living' ball on the Arena de Sao Paulo pitch." The final act saw a performance of official World Cup song "We Are One" by Lopez and Pitbull. Performers "dressed as trees, flowers and various musical instruments all performed in three acts before the central ball opened" to reveal singers Claudia Leitte, Lopez and Pitbull as "they sang the official World Cup song as the finale" (BBC, 6/12
). In London, Keiran Gill noted there was "an awkward moment when the elevating platform seemed to get stuck" and Pitbull had to help Lopez up "before the pair performed 'We Are One (Ola Ola)'" (DAILY MAIL, 6/12
WHEN DOVES CRY
: The AAP reported three doves "were released by children at a lavish opening ceremony." The doves flew "as protests raged elsewhere in Brazil's largest city." The "futuristic scene" came as the host nation "sought to cast side its oft-used mocking slogan: Brazil is a country of the future, and always will be." The ceremony was held in the 62,600-capacity stadium before guests, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and "embattled" FIFA President Sepp Blatter. More than 600 artists, including acrobatic gymnasts, trampolinists, marshal arts-style capoeira performers and stilt walkers "also featured in a homage to Brazil's three great treasures: nature, people football." The center of the show was a giant LED ball made up of more than 90,000 light clusters -- one of the "few large-scale technical wonders in the event as organisers were ordered to avoid placing a strain on the pitch where Brazil and Croatia face off 75 minutes after the ceremony" (AAP, 6/13