FIFA World Cup 2018 Opening Gala: Fanatical Fans and Fantastic Fanfares
“Soccer isn't the same as Bach or Buddhism. But it is often more deeply felt than religion, and just as much a part of the community's fabric, a repository of traditions.” – Franklin Foer, Author of How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization.
For anyone who isn’t an avid fan of soccer, let me briefly describe the World Cup: It’s A Big Deal. With more than 1.5 million tickets are requested prior to the start of the games, the world is on fire for soccer. But amid the thrilling game saves and dashing men hurling themselves across the big field, some of the greatest players of the classical music scene stepped into the limelight on June 13th in Red Square, Moscow, Russia.
The stunning cultural display incorporated Anna Netrebko, Plácido Domingo, Juan Diego Flórez, Yusif Eyvazov, Ildar Abdrazakov, Aida Garifullina, Denis Matsuev, and Albina Shagimuratova, accompanied by the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. High notes soared alongside the screams of soccer fans in a concert that highlighted some of the world’s best classical musicians. The combination of art and sport unified people across the world in the two things that almost every country has: classical music and soccer.
The FIFA World Cup 2018 Opening Gala was a night that will not soon be forgotten, and can be watched in full below.