If the prospect of the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics fills you with dread given the incredible spectacle offered by Beijing four years earlier, worry no more. With the budget for the curtain-raiser recently increased, a wide range of supporting events also continues to be announced which includes a number of genuinely mouth-watering spectacles.
High on this list must be the production of Puccini's Turandot to be performed at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 23rd June. And if the notion that a mere opera could fill the vast draughty eaves of the mighty stadium, fear not - the man in charge of bringing Turandot to Wembley is film director Zhang Yimou. If you're unsure of his credentials, be aware that he is the very man who engineered that dramatic opening ceremony in Beijing.
Zhang Yimou's staging will recruit 600 artists from both the UK and China with world famous tenor Placido Domingo as musical director - the new production will combine the traditional Chinese motifs of Turandot (which is set in China) with advanced sound and lighting effects. And, of course, the third act includes the climactic aria Nessun Dorma, which gained widespread popularity when used as a theme for the Italia 90 World Cup, when England were actually good at football (no, honestly - they were). Turandot takes place during the Euro 2012 tournament and any football fans at Wembley that day may leave wishing Zhang Yimou had been given the England manager's job...
We will have tickets for Turandot at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 23rd June 2012 when they go on sale at 9am on Friday 20th April, priced £30 and £70. It promises to be one of the most memorable events of an unforgettable summer in the capital.