Lifestyle & Belief

London Olympics 2012: Opening ceremony plans unveiled


Director Danny Boyle and his team unveil a mock-up of how the London Olympic Stadium will look for the opening ceremony on July 27.


Dave Poultney/LOCOG

The 2012 Olympics will open on a vision of the British countryside, recreated in the heart of London.

That's what we know so far about the July 27 opening ceremony, the first details of which were unveiled today.

According to organizers, the ceremony is supposed to showcase "the best of the host nation." They've chosen the theme "Isles of Wonder" – its name taken from a line in Shakespeare's Tempest – for the three-hour, multi-million-pound event.

Directed by filmmaker Danny Boyle, the spectacle will open with a scene entitled "Green and Pleasant," which is supposed to bring rural Britain to the Olympic Stadium in east London.

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According to the BBC, an elaborate set will recreate "meadows, fields and rivers, with families taking picnics, people playing sports on the village green and farmers tilling the soil." There will be real grass, trees and even, suspended above the stadium, artificial clouds – one of which will shower rain.

Meanwhile dozens of live sheep, horses, cows, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and sheepdogs will roam the stadium's "countryside."

It won't all be traditional, however: the Guardian reported that one end of the venue will be converted into a mosh pit to represent Britain's biggest music festival, Glastonbury, while English electro stars Underworld are collaborating on the soundtrack.

The show is designed to be "as unpredictable and inventive as the British people," artistic director Boyle said.

Some 15,000 performers will take part in total, according to the organizers, 10,000 of them volunteers.

The total budget for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies is £81 million ($127 million), Agence France Presse reported – double what was originally planned.