Robbie Williams to perform at World Cup opening ceremony
British singer Robbie Williams will be joined by Russian soprano and Vienna State Opera soloist Aida Garifullina in a performance to mark the opening of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, it was revealed on Monday.
Retired Brazilian soccer star and two-time World Cup champion Ronaldo will also appear on stage during the event, taking place June 14 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
The 2018 opening ceremony will follow a slightly different format than in previous editions, focusing on musical acts and taking place just a half-hour before the start of the match, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time.
“I’ve done a lot in my career, and opening the FIFA World Cup to 80,000 football fans in the stadium and many millions all over the world is a boyhood dream,” says Williams. “We’d like to invite football and music fans to party with us in Russia, in the stadium, or to tune in their TVs a little earlier for an unforgettable show.”
Russia’s Channel One will produce the show, with a creative concept developed by Felix Mikhailov, who has directed the main ceremonies of all 2018 FIFA World Cup events, starting with the Preliminary Draw in 2015.
“The co-director of the opening ceremony will be my friend Ilya Averbukh, who has added new color to the spectacle on the pitch. And, of course, our show will be about football and love,” said Mikhailov. JB