British singer speeds through hits with help from soprano Aida Garifulina in mercifully brief opener to Russia 2018
It was, perhaps, inevitable that Robbie Williams would begin the 2018 World Cup opening ceremony by singing Let Me Entertain You, rather than Party Like a Russian, the 2016 single that reportedly caused a certain amount of disquiet in the titular nation. It was certainly a robust opening for British viewers, but one wondered if it had quite the impact for the rest of the world: Williams’s stardom has been largely confined to Europe and isn’t of the wattage it once was. Still, nothing hung around long enough to get dull – Let Me Entertain You faded into the soprano Aida Garifullina warbling on the back of a “firebird” for a few seconds before Williams returned for a snippet of Feel, before Garifullina joined him for, inevitably, Angels. “And through it all she offers me protection,” Williams sang, echoing the prayers of flair players towards referees.