SCOTS singer Emeli Sandé made a surprise appearance at the climax of the ceremony – with a stunning rendition of Abide With Me.
She appeared shortly after a moving sequence during which a memorial wall on the stadium screens showed images of spectators’ loved ones who have passed away, as well as the late fathers of Danny Boyle and Olympics supremo Lord Coe.
Dancers dressed in red, representing the struggle between life and death, were picked out by a spotlight in the darkness of the stadium as Sandé’s powerful vocals pierced the air.
Sandé, from Alford, in Aberdeenshire, said later: “I am extremely proud and humbled to be part of the amazing ceremony which will allow the world to see some of the best up-and-coming and established talent the UK has produced.”
Percussionist Evelyn Glennie, also from Aberdeenshire, made a dramatic appearance at the ceremony, performing on the drums. She said: “I am both honoured and humbled to participate in showcasing the best of this wonderful and unique group of isles.
“For me, the Games demonstrate the very fabric of our British competitive spirit and hopes.”
Sandé’s appearance had been one of the many closely guarded secrets surrounding the ceremony, although it has already been confirmed that she will be opening the finale of the Olympics. The 25-year-old has been chosen by organisers for the prestigious opening slot and will sing her hit Read All About It.Sandé also had the honour of appearing at open-air concerts to welcome the Olympic torch, including at Edinburgh Castle, George Square in Glasgow and Dundee’s Baxter Park.
She was little known this time last year and released her debut single only last August. However, within months, she had won the critics’ choice award at the Brit Awards and notched up a No 1 album.