Published — Saturday 18 November 2006
Last Update 18 November 2006 3:00 am
DOHA, 18 November 2006 — Doha Asian Games Organizing Committee (DAGOC) yesterday announced some names of global superstars from the Middle East and Asia that will headline the 15th Asian Games opening ceremony on Dec. 1.
Kept a closely guarded secret for almost two years, the Games organisers said Hong Kong’s pop superstar Jacky Cheung, Indian pop and Bollywood sensation Sunidhi Chauhan, Lebanese artist Magida El Roumi and tenor José Carreras will be among the star spangled galaxy of performers at the opening ceremony to be held at Khalifa Stadium, within the Sport City precinct.
“We’re so excited to announce the leading performers who will play a major role in heralding the start of the 15th Asian Games in Doha,” said Ahmed Abdulla Al Khulaifi, deputy director general, DAGOC. “We recognised the need to bring on board inspiring Asian as well as international artists in order to encapsulate the wide range of athletes and backgrounds represented throughout the Games. We’re eagerly awaiting what will be the culmination of several years of planning for the biggest ceremony Asia has ever known. More than 8,000 artists from the Middle East, Asia and around the world will have contributed their creative skills to realise Qatar’s dream of making the Doha 2006 ceremonies unforgettable for generations to come.” The first to perform a song written specifically for the Opening Ceremony is one of the finest singers and film stars to have come out of Hong Kong, Jacky Cheung. A pioneer and superstar of Cantopop, Jacky is arguably the most popular and respected Chinese pop singer in the world winning global awards including Chinese Artiste of the Year in Monte Carlo in 1995 and 1996, and voted one of the world’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 1999. Sunidhi Chauhan will perform Reach Out a song written by internationally renowned Australian composers Paul Begaud and Vanessa Corish. She will perform this song as a salute to athletes from 45 countries and regions participating in the 15-day Games. Nineteen-year-old Sunidhi will be performing off the back of a 12-stop tour throughout the United States.
As a world first, Lebanese artist Magida El Roumi will perform a duet with Spanish performer José Carreras at the opening ceremony, marking the first time the two artists perform together and heralding the arrival of the torch at Khalifa Stadium with “Light The Way”.
An ambassador for UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Magida has been a symbol and an idol for global audiences for more than three decades now, reflecting in her life and songs an image of a nation and its people. Spain’s José Carreras is one of the world’s greatest tenors and has performed with the most renowned conductors all over the world. Famously, he performed at the 1990 World Cup in Rome..
DAGOC has built one of the best facilities ever created to produce an international event. Approximately 1,000 staff are involved in bringing together the two ceremonies shows with workshops from around the world including, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Asia and the Gulf, contributing to the spectacular.