British music icons Duran Duran will headline the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Returning to the city where their four-decade career began, Duran Duran will be the finale to the ceremony’s concert. The city’s multi-Grammy winning Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and saxophonist Soweto Kinch will lead a dream sequence, “Hear my Voice,” based on the title track from 2020 film “The Trial of the Chicago Seven,” reimagined by Birmingham-born RnB vocalists Indigo Marshall and Gambimi. The event will be under the musical direction of rapper, artist and educator Joshua ‘RTKal’ Holness and the artistic director for the opening ceremony is theater producer Iqbal Khan.
At the ceremony, Birmingham Conservatoire graduate and mezzo-soprano Samantha Oxborough will Performing the National Anthem for the United Kingdom as part of the formal opening of the Games, supported by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under conductor Alpesh Chauhan, while musicians from The Royal Marines deliver a trumpet fanfare. A massed choir of over 700 voices, comprising 15 choirs from across the West Midlands, will flood the arena, led by Carol Pemberton and Black Voices, one of Europe’s leading female a cappella groups. Other musicians performing include Grammy-winning percussionist Lekan Babalola, vocalist Ranjana Ghatak, shawm player Jude Rees, bagpiper Chris Crouch and Djembe player Abraham Paddy Tetteh.
Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is a momentous event for the great city of Birmingham. And we in Duran Duran are honored to be a part of it in our home town.”
Roger Taylor said: “We are so proud to be returning to our home town to close the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. It is a true honor to be part of a global event that will bring sportspeople of all cultural backgrounds around the world together as one. Another milestone in a most incredible year for us.”
John Taylor added: “It is so good to be participating in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games this year, performing for the first time with the CBSO. It will also be exciting to hang around some of the world’s greatest athletes, hoping to get some fitness tips.”
Khan said: “It’s the music of this city that truly gives it its voice, and this stunning line-up will connect with a global audience, as we celebrate the best of Birmingham creativity on an international stage.”
The games run July 28-Aug. 8. The opening and closing ceremonies will be staged at Birmingham’s newly-redeveloped Alexander Stadium in front of a live audience of over 30,000 people.