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Chinese Musicians to Join Three Tenors at Beijing Concert

Three Chinese sopranos will join opera stars Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras when the tenors perform in Beijing's Forbidden City on June 23, the International Olympic Day.

Co-organizer China National Culture & Art Co.Ltd (CNCAC) told reporters on Friday that besides the sopranos, three other Chinese tenors will also join the Three Tenors' performances in a state dinner which follows the concert. The dinner will be attended by as many as 2008 guests.

"Through our efforts, the other side finally gave nod to that the Chinese musicians could co-stage with the Three Tenors," said CNCAC president Lu Changhe." It will greatly enhance the status of the Chinese musicians in the world."

The tenors' performance will take place just ahead of a decision by the International Olympic Committee in July 13 on which city will host the 2008 Games. Beijing, along with Paris, Toronto, Osaka and Istanbul, is in the bidding race. "This concert will most convincingly convey the world Beijing's image of being open and civilized. It will turn the world's spotlight to Beijing when the bidding comes to a crucial point," said Jiang Xiaoyu, vice president of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Bidding Committee. The Three Tenors will perform in Wumen plaza inside the Forbidden City where the emperors lived. A crowd of 30,000 will be expected to be there with 70,000 situated in neighboring Zhongshan Park and Workers' Cultural Palace where giant screens will show the Three Tenors.

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

Pianist Yani performed there in 1997, followed in 1998 by Puccini's opera Turandot, performed by the Florence Opera House Company.

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