Expo 2020 Dubai: Line-up of stars for grand opening revealed

Opening ceremony dress rehearsal. — Expo 2020 Dubai
Opening ceremony dress rehearsal. — Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai - Get ready to be starstruck: Andrea Bocelli, Ellie Goulding and Mohamed Abdo will be gracing the show.

By Team KT

Published: Mon 20 Sep 2021, 2:25 AM

Stars from around the world and top homegrown talent will be opening the highly anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai on September 30. Al Wasl Plaza will be dazzling with celebrities like world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli and British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding.

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“This is the ‘big bang’ that sets the scene for 182 days of visually striking and emotionally inspiring experiences, as we invite visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world,” said Tareq Ghosheh, chief event and entertainment officer, Expo 2020 Dubai.

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A grand spectacle — with stunning visuals and superb music and performances — awaits the world as the artists come together for a groundbreaking show.

The stellar line-up of performers also include Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Andra Day; star pianist Lang Lang; and four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.

It also features ‘Artist of Arabs’ Mohamed Abdo, much-loved Emirati singing sensation ‘Fananat Al Arab’ Ahlam Alshamsi; Emirati Artist and Expo 2020 Dubai Ambassador Hussain Al Jassmi, a trendsetter on the Khaleeji music scene in the Middle East and Internationally; rising UAE singer-songwriter Almas; and Grammy-nominated Lebanese-American singer Mayssa Karaa.

The opening ceremony will take spectators on a journey across the Expo’s subthemes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability, showcasing the deep-rooted values of the UAE and the vision and purpose of the Expo.

The audience will be at the centre of the show as it unfolds, with the revolving stage, stunning surrounds and immersive technologies coming to life around them.

“As the global spotlight shines on the UAE, this incredible, unforgettable evening will celebrate the collaborative, creative and optimistic spirit of Expo 2020, demonstrating our commitment to hosting a mega-event that will delight the world,” Ghosheh said.

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Behind the scenes

Preparations have brought together creative minds from different geographies, industries and backgrounds, including a talented in-house team of Emirati and international creatives.

Event organisers have been co-curating and co-producing the collaborative spectacle. The wider team is led by Scott Givens, executive producer and CEO of FiveCurrents, whose credits include 62 iconic ceremonies, including the most Olympic ceremonies ever. It also features Franco Dragone, the acclaimed artistic director behind ground-breaking productions such as La Perle and Cirque du Soleil; and Jared Sweet, award-winning creative director behind ceremonies spanning six countries.

How to watch

To be screened on Expo TV, Virtual Expo and broadcast to a global audience of millions across multiple channels, the ceremony will showcase the stunning Al Wasl Plaza, including the largest immersive sound installation in the world and the world’s largest blended video projection installation.

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