Olympic opening ceremony in numbersJuly 28th, 2012 - 6:17 am ICT by IANS
London, July 28 (IANS) Without even beginning to discuss the artistic merits of the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, a quick look at some of the facts and figures surrounding it should help give an idea of the sheer scale of the event.
Speaking earlier in the day, Director Danny Boyle had said he would not be able to compete with the 2008 opening ceremony in terms of scale, but even if that was not the case, the sheer size of the event was still impressive, reports Xinhua.
The “Isles of Wonder” cost 27 million pounds, probably more than any of Boyle’s films. It included 15,000 performers, among whom were 600 dancers who work for the National Health Service, who performed a routine involving 320 beds.
There were also 956 drummers in the show. All of the performers got through a total of 57,000 separate items of clothing in the run-up to and the performing of the ceremony, while their costumes on the night had a total of 34,570 buttons sewn onto them.
Humans were not the only performers on the night. Boyle’s ceremony began with a celebration of the pastoral ideal, which included 40 sheep, 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks and nine geese.
The rural landscape was played out on 7,346 metres of real turf, which included specially grown crops, such as wheat, lettuces, carrots, turnips and red chard, there were even some poppies in the wheat for extra authenticity.
The stadium contained 15,000 metres of staging, which is the same surface area as 12 Olympic sized swimming pools, while 50 tons of sound equipment, including 500 speakers able to pump out one million watts of sound.
Among the artists taking advantage of that capacity were rock band, Arctic Monkeys, while former Beatle Paul McCartney also performed along with local born rapper Dizzee Rascal, Mike Oldfield, whose album Tubular Bells is one of the biggest selling records of all time.
Percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie also participated, along with two choirs - the Kaos Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children and the Dockland choir.
Finally, all of it was watched by an estimated global TV audience of four billion people.
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Tags: arctic monkeys, artistic merits, beatle, director danny boyle, dizzee rascal, drummers, mike oldfield, national health service, olympic games, olympic opening ceremony, pastoral ideal, poppies, rapper dizzee, red chard, sheer scale, sheer size, swimming pools, tubular bells, turnips, xinhua