U.K. soprano vocalist Sarah Brightman and Chinese singer Liu Huan unveiled the official 2008 Beijing Olympics theme song “You And Me” at the National Stadium (aka the Bird's Nest) during the opening ceremony in front of a crowd of 91,000. The global TV audience is expected to be over one billion.
The performance, which came an hour into the Aug. 8 opening ceremony (at 9pm Beijing time), was the climax of the artistic portion of the program.
It featured the duo singing from the top of a 16-ton globe with a diameter of 18 metres, surrounded by a sea of portraits of smiling children’s faces from around the world. The song, which was a heavily guarded secret before being performed at the ceremony, was composed by France-based Chinese classical composer Chen Qigang, the musical director of the opening ceremony.
Film director Zhang Yimou was responsible for the overall artistic direction of the ceremony. The parade of nations competing in the Games followed the Olympic theme.
Liu, who began the performance by singing the Chinese verse of the song, previously sang the theme to the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing. Brightman also sang the official theme to the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, “Friends For Life”, with Jose Carreras.
Lang Lang's performance marked the only other appearance of a solo recording artist in the artistic portion of the ceremony. The Chinese pianist wore his trademark white suit and sat at a white piano in the center of a human "Bird's Nest," constructed by a team of neon-green clad Chinese acrobats.