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Saturday, July 11, 1998 Published at 01:07 GMT 02:07 UK


Three tenors are the name of the game

Opera's most famous trio

In the lead up to the world's biggest footballing event in Paris on Sunday, three singing superstars have stolen the show.

Opera's most famous tenors, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, performed a huge, open-air World Cup concert in Paris on Friday.

A crowd of 100,000 people gathered around the foot of the Eiffel Tower to hear the three tenors sing arias by Puccini, Verdi and Gounod.

The programme was broadcast to more than two billion people in 75 countries.

The trio sang some old favourites in six languages - including their own version of a song popular in football stadiums around the world, "You'll Never Walk Alone".

Massive back up operation

The three tenors were accompanied by more than 100 musicians from the Orchestre de Paris and a choir of more than 50 people.

Six giant video screens and a massive state-of-the-art 100,000-watt sound system relayed the concert to the crowd, and probably to most of Paris.

[ image: Paris ground to a halt]
Paris ground to a halt
The city itself came to a standstill, with police cordoning off a large part of the area surrounding the Eiffel Tower. Parking in much of the area was banned to allow workers to unload equipment.

It was the third World Cup concert the Three Tenors have performed, after Italy in 1990 and America in 1994. Pavarotti is reported to have hinted that they may do the same for the 2002 finals.

And it is a best-selling act. Their albums from the two previous concerts have so far sold 23 million copies. A CD and video of this year's performance will go on sale later this year.

The concert will be screened on BBC ONE at 16.35BST ahead of coverage of the World Cup final.

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