China isn't the only country to fake a musical performance during an Olympic opening ceremony. Turns out Australia knows a thing about miming music, too.
Eight years after Sydney hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics, officials with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra acknowledged their stirring performance at the opening ceremony was prerecorded. And perhaps even more cringe-inducing for Sydney residents: some of the music was recorded by the symphony of rival city Melbourne.
The revelation followed an international uproar over China's decision to pass off the voice of a 7-year-old singer as that of another girl at this year's Olympic opening ceremony. The Beijing ceremony's chief music director said the real singer, Yang Peiyi, wasn't good-looking enough.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra managing director Trevor Green confirmed on Friday that the 2000 opening ceremony performance had been prerecorded by both the Sydney and Melbourne orchestras, saying that steps must be taken to ensure mistakes aren't made live during high-profile events.
“If you've got an event the size of the Olympics, and you've got billions and billions of people watching it, you definitely have a backing track and mime to it, because anything could go wrong,” Green said.
The Sydney orchestra's decision to call on Melbourne for help was not surprising, given the workload, Green added.
“It was just too much for one orchestra,” he said.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra managing director Libby Christie earlier this week acknowledged the performance had been mimed.
Christie said tight deadlines and a “mountainous workload” required the use of two orchestras for the backing tape.