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Top Tenors to Back up Olympic Bid

When western opera meets eastern mystique in Beijing's ancient Forbidden City next month, the world's attention will be drawn to the event.

The world-famous Three Tenors - Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras - are staging the concert in support of Beijing's bid to host the Olympics in 2008.

On June 23, which is International Olympic Day and only 21 days away from the moment that the International Olympic Committee votes to decide the venue of the 2008 Summer Games, the singers will debut their show in China.

Beijing bid officials consider the hosting of the concert in the ancient capital to be a perfect example of the city's cultural heritage and capacity, guaranteeing the success of the 2008 Olympics.

"This concert will most convincingly convey to the world Beijing's image of being open and culturally diverse," said Jiang Xiaoyu, vice-president of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bid Committee.

"It will bring the world's spotlight to Beijing as the bid reaches a crucial moment," said Jiang.

An expected crowd of 30 £¬000 will watch the performance in the Wuman plaza, inside the Forbidden City, while giant screens will convey the show to another 70£¬000 people in neighboring Zhongshan Park and the Workers' Cultural Palace.

Jiang said the concert demonstrates how culture-centered the "People's Olympics" are considered to be in Beijing.

Co-organizer China National Culture & Art Co. Ltd has also revealed that three Chinese sopranos will join the opera stars on stage.

The performance will be the third time the vast former imperial palace has formed a backdrop for Western musical performances.

Greece-born pianist Yanni played there in 1997£¬followed in 1998 by a rendition of Puccini's opera Turandot by the Florence Opera House Company from Italy.

(People's Daily 05/15/2001)