by Evie Gelastopoulos(Olympics Reporter)

   FOUR women spanning four decades of Australian music are set for leading
roles in the Olympic Games opening ceremony.
   National icon Olivia Newton-John, former child star Tina Arena and teen
sensation Vanessa Amorosi would each perform a new song written for the
September 15 event, sources close to negotiations told the Daily Telegraph.
   Entertainment industry stalwart Julie Anthony, 49, is set to perform the
national anthem, ceremony organisers decided last week.
   However, the singers have yet to sign contracts and The Daily Telegraph
understands some are waiting to hear the songs chosen for them.
   "It is obviously a great honour, and a tremendous opportunity but it has
to be the right song," a music industry insider said.
   Managers for Newton-John, Amorosi, and Anthony refused to comment but
confirmed there had been negotiations with Games organisers. Arena's manager
was overseas and could not be contacted.
   Melbourne-based Amorosi, 18, is at present preparing her attack on Asian
and European markets with a view to visiting the US.
   While fully aware of the exposure she would get performing at the opening
ceremony before 3.5 billion television viewers worldwide, Amorosi is wary of
committing until she hears the song.
   Amorosi submitted her feel good hit Everybody to ceremonies organisers
but it was rejected because they want only new songs performed.
   Newton-John, 52, met ceremonies director Ric Birch during her 1998
concerts, the Main Event with John Farnham and Anthony Warlow, said her
manager Martin Bedford.
   She is now in Los Angeles with her daughter Chloe after a two month tour
of the US.
   The Daily Telegraph understands Games organisers have culled song choices
for the ceremony down from hundreds submitted.
   Three leading Australian designers are creating about 2000 costumes, sets
and props for a seven-minute segment of the opening ceremony, organisers
announced yesterday.
   Peter Morrissey, Lisa Ho and Jenny Kee have been a part of Birch's
ceremonies team for the past year, together with theatre and film designer
Norma Moriceau.

It then goes on to list the following:

SYDNEY 2000: Vanessa Amorosi - new song in opening ceremony. Performing in
Paralympics opening ceremony. Launched career 1999. Hits: Everybody, Shine.
             Tina Arena - new song in opening ceremony. Started on Young
Talent Time in 1975. Hit songs: Chains and In Deep.
             Olivia Newton-John - new song in opening ceremony. First album
1971. Hits include Xanadu (1980) Let's Get Physical (1982)
             Julie Anthony - national anthem Advance Australia Fair.