Far too many major sporting events lack a sufficiently cultured opening ceremony but last night Russia more than made up for the deficiencies of previous World Cup hosts by staging a grand performance of orchestral and operatic music in the heart of Moscow’s Red Square.
The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra led by its long-time Maestro Valery Gergiev welcomed pianist Denis Matsuev to play the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto. Gergiev and the orchestra were later joined by opera stars from Russia and throughout the world in a performance that lasted for two hours with a grand finale seeing an operatic version of the much loved Russian folk song Kalinka.
Russian President Putin attended the ceremony along with other heads of state including Columbian President Evo Morales and football stars from throughout the world.
The entire performance can be viewed below: