Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

London 2012 Olympics 'should have classical anthem'

Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti's version of Nessun Dorma was the 1990 World Cup theme

London's Olympic organisers should use a classical music anthem to stir up support for the 2012 Games, according to a survey.

The poll by the Association of British Orchestras found 69% of people wanted a piece of classical music or music combining classical and another style.

Of the 2,057 adults questioned, only 14% said they favoured a pop song.

London 2012 said it was looking to cater for all tastes in its music programmes and ceremonies.

Luciano Pavarotti's performance of Nessun Dorma, the BBC's theme for the Italia 90 Football World Cup, was the top sports song according to 40% of those questioned by the ABO.

Three lions

About 25% of those quizzed said they preferred World in Union, the 1995 Rugby World Cup theme.

Peter Shilton, England's goalkeeper during Italia 90, said of Nessun Dorma: "It just seemed to go with Italia 90 and people's emotions as the England team were going further and further in the competition.

I always fancied the music from Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve. Though it's not technically classical the music, minus the lyrics always made me feel proud to be British
Mike, Rotherham

"When you look at sport, football in particular, it was an emotional song for an emotional sport and at the right time.

"It just seemed to gel just right. When I talk to people about 90 I start by asking 'do you remember Nessun Dorma?' It always gets people talking about it.

"I always gets a very positive response."

Frank Skinner and David Baddiel's 1996 pop song Three Lions was a roaring success among football fans along with the terrace-sounding chanting of Vindaloo.

The 1992 Barcelona Olympics teamed Queen frontman Freddie Mercury with opera singer Montserrat Caballe for its theme tune.

Association of British Orchestras (ABO) director Mark Pemberton said that music and sport went "hand-in-hand".

He added: "The Olympics should be a celebration of the best of British culture - and orchestras can play a central part in that."

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