Germany will stage the World Cup's first opening gala next year, but organizers yesterday (Nov. 30) promised it will be nothing like the extravaganzas seen at the Olympics and the Super Bowl. Artistic director Andre Heller, who unveiled a creative team that includes Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel, aims to keep the June 7 spectacle a surprise but he promised the gala will have no parade of superstars and will not echo the local themes used at other major sporting events.
"We have an enormous space to fill but we won't do it with banal figures," he said. Performers will include American soprano Jessye Norman, the Black Eyed Peas, Algerian singer Cheb Khaled and around 5,000 volunteers.
...Eno is composing a 2006 World Cup anthem using instruments from across the world to form a very different orchestra. Music director Gabriel promised to "make some noise." Asked why he had signed up, he joked, "It's the same attraction for a musician as for a footballer -- money, sex and drugs."
As I have discussed many times before, embracing the major sport of your country is Advanced, so I'm very pleased that Brian Eno is involved in this. (An American embracing soccer is usually Overt, especially if they call it football.) It's curious that the organizers consider the Black Eyed Peas somehow above the "banal figures" one normally encounters in sports spectacles. I like them as much as the next guy, but they seem like the exact sort of act you would expect to see at the Super Bowl halftime show.