The Resource Olympics 2012 : Opening Ceremony, director, Danny Boyle., (videorecording /)

Olympics 2012 : Opening Ceremony, director, Danny Boyle., (videorecording /)

Olympics 2012 : Opening Ceremony
Olympics 2012 : Opening Ceremony
Statement of responsibility
director, Danny Boyle.
The opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games took place on the evening of Friday 27 July in the Olympic Stadium, London. As mandated by the Olympic Charter, the proceedings combined the formal and ceremonial opening of this international sporting event, including welcoming speeches, hoisting of the flags and the parade of athletes, with an artistic spectacle to showcase the host nation’s culture. For London 2012 the Games were formally opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The spectacle was entitled Isles of Wonder and directed by Academy Award-winning British film director Danny Boyle, with music specially written by electronic music group Underworld. Prior to London 2012, there had been considerable apprehension about Britain’s ability to stage an opening ceremony that would reach the standard set by the Beijing Summer Games in 2008, where the ceremony had been noted for its scale, extravagance and expense, and been hailed as the "greatest ever".The Beijing ceremony had cost £65m whereas London spent an estimated £27m (out of £80m budgeted for its four ceremonies), which was nevertheless about twice the original budget.However, the 2012 ceremony was generally seen as a tremendous success, praised by numerous publications and spectators as a "masterpiece" and "a love letter to Britain". The ceremony began at 21:00 BST and lasted almost four hours. It was watched by an estimated worldwide television audience of 900 million, becoming the most-viewed Olympic opening ceremony in both the UK and US. The content had largely been kept secret until the performance itself, despite involving thousands of volunteers and after two public rehearsals. The principal sections of the artistic display represented Britain's Industrial Revolution, National Health Service, literary heritage, popular music and culture, and were noted for their vibrant storytelling and use of music. Two shorter sections drew particular comment, involving a filmed cameo appearance of the Queen, and a live performance by the London Symphony Orchestra joined by Rowan Atkinson. These were widely ascribed to Britain's sense of humour. The ceremony featured children and young people in most of its segments, reflecting the 'inspire a generation' aspiration of London's original bid for the Games.
LC call number
  • 3.1 Prologue 3.2 Countdown (21:00–21:04 BST) 3.3 Green and Pleasant Land (21:04–21:09) 3.4 Pandemonium (21:09–21:25) 3.5 Happy and Glorious (21:25–21:35) 3.6 Second to the right, and straight on till morning (21:35–21:47) 3.7 Interlude (21:47–21:52) 3.8 Frankie and June say...thanks Tim (21:52–22:09) 3.9 Abide with Me (22:09–22:20) 3.10 Welcome (22:20–00:00) 3.11 Bike a.m. (00:00–00:07 BST 28 July) 3.12 Let the Games Begin (00:07–00:24) 3.13 There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (00:24–00:38) 3.14 And in the end (00:38–00:46)
  • The choice of music was wide and eclectic, to showcase almost exclusively British music with a range of pieces selected to represent the Four Nations of the United Kingdom. The programme included classical works by British composers such as Hubert Parry, and performances by a range of UK choirs and orchestras. The focus was mainly on music of the 1960s onward. Danny Boyle chose Rick Smith of Underworld, with whom he had worked on several film projects, as musical director. Underworld composed pieces especially for the ceremony, including "And I Will Kiss",performed by Evelyn Glennie and drummers during the "Pandemonium" section, and "Caliban's Dream" heard during the lighting of the cauldron. Musical motifs were used to bind the whole programme together: for example, the 'whistling' theme first heard during the minute's silence embedded within "And I Will Kiss" during the "Pandemonium" section of the ceremony returned frequently — behind the fury as the ring was being forged, emerging triumphant as the five rings came together, and again later as the main theme of "Caliban's Dream" during the "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" section, as the flame entered the stadium and was passed to the young athletes. Bells were a theme of the opening day of the Olympics, starting at 8.12am when artist Martin Creed's Work No. 1197: All The Bells took place, with bells being rung across the UK including 40 strikes of Big Ben.Accordingly, much of the music contained 'bell' references, linking to the large bell forged for the ceremony and evoking bells as "the sound of freedom and peace". Modified sequences based on the traditional British eight-bell peal underlay "And I Will Kiss" and carried through into the "Tubular Bells"/NHS section, with handbells and a tolling large bell featured on "Caliban's Dream" and at other points in the ceremony. A handbell chime also played at the close as the stadium emptied. Artists performing at the ceremony were paid a nominal £1 fee to ensure their contracts were legally binding
Summary expansion
Also known as 'Isles of Wonder'
Olympics 2012 : Opening Ceremony, director, Danny Boyle., (videorecording /)
Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe)
1 videodisc (165 min.)
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