Closing Ceremony Details Emerge, English Acts Expected To Play Big Role
The London Games might be renamed the "Guessing Games" as Sunday's Closing Ceremony "looms into view" after Artistic Dir Kim Gavin said that everything from English composer Edward Elgar to English singer Adele should be expected, according to Mike Collett-White of REUTERS. The conclusion of the Games, at the 80,000-capacity main stadium built in a once run-down area of the city, "may not be as spectacular" as the Opening Ceremony, an "exuberant, eccentric celebration of British history and culture." However it will feature "some of the biggest names in British music and is likely to draw a global audience running in the hundreds of millions" after the Opening Ceremony attracted about 900 million TV viewers. English musician George Michael is confirmed to appear, as he "spilled the beans via Twitter." He wrote: "Hey everyone, how are you. Spending most of the next week rehearsing like crazy for the Olympic Closing Ceremony....." Additionally, British singer Ed Sheeran told Australian radio that "he was down to sing" with English rock band Pink Floyd, "prompting a swift denial from the band" (REUTERS, 8/8).
ARNOLD'S IMPACT: Closing Ceremony Music Dir David Arnold said, "If the Opening Ceremony was the wedding, then we're the wedding reception. We're the one where everyone gets out of their cars at the village hall, goes 'Wasn't that lovely, everyone looked great, let's put on Blame It On The Boogie and have a laugh.'" In London, Neil McCormick noted Arnold has scored five Bond films, the TV series Little Britain and Sherlock, and has a long history of involvement with pop artists from Björk to Shirley Bassey. The 50-year-old conducts conversation "with a deadpan wit that underplays the seriousness of his talent." Though Arnold claims, "It's like spinning plates and they're all on fire." He added, "I visited the Olympics site for the first time three years ago. I've been working on this for two years, 18 months pretty much full-time." Arnold is part of a three-man core team, including Gavin, a theatrical and ballet choreographer who oversaw Take That's spectacular 2011 stadium tour, and designer Es Devlin, who has created sets for Lady Gaga, Rihanna and the Royal Opera House. The worldwide broadcast will begin Sunday at 9pm London time and feature more than 4,100 performers, including 3,880 volunteers (TELEGRAPH, 8/9).
GUARDED SECRET: Also in London, Beard & Cohen noted English band Madness, following up on their Diamond Jubilee performance, will be performing at the Closing Ceremony and are expected to play their hit "Baggy Trousers." Madness and former Kinks frontman Ray Davies are the latest acts to be confirmed for the three-and-a-half hour program. The full line-up is a "closely guarded secret," but leaks from dress rehearsals suggest that English band Blur will perform "Parklife" backed by hundreds of extras. Other acts expected to perform include the Spice Girls, Jessie J, The Who and Emeli Sandé, whose "moving rendition" of 'Abide with Me' in honor of 7/7 victims was "one of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony." There have been reports that Adele will appear, "even though she is pregnant and famously shy of large audiences" (INDEPENDENT, 8/9).