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A Beautiful Opening Ceremony


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BC Place isn't known for its sound quality. But I have a theory...because it came before the cultural part, the parade being so early made me wonder if that was it. And because of that people may not

Actually,,.for the RECORD...David Atkins and Vancouver 2010 copied MY m.O. of dedicating the whole or parts of my book to specific individuals. In my book... the whole book -- dedicated to my mother

Oh, Atkins had enough funds AND time to develop the Ceremonies. The $50 mil and 3 years' lead time is PLENTY. X, LA-1984 had only $8-10 million to work with and David Wolper's unit only took over 11

Some say it was a good ceremony. Others, like the UK's Guardian newspaper, gave it "a failing grade." In fact, some of the foreign media had some beef with some parts of the ceremony. What seemed to be one big source of the negative tirade was that "poem reading" by that guy about Canada.

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See, I loved the poem. It was presented so minimally, just the author/reciter, but that was it's power to me. And the words of poem itself were touching, amusing and said something about the Canadian psyche. And it also somewhat gently self-deprecating and self-mocking, something which I can admire in any culture.

i loved the poem - summed up Canada for me (and i loved the zed not zee bit - a gentle reminder to us that not all people with North American accents are Americans!)!

i thought it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies i have seen since i started watching in 1980! better than beijing for me - i guess it was more emotive and less bomabstic than beijing (not that one should or can compare winter and summer ceremonies).

i thought it portrayed canada wonderfully - i had tears roling down my cheeks with the Joni Mitchell "Prairie" sequence! also loved the Orcas and for one the parade of nations particularly the dancers/marshalls during the parade - kept me entertained!! also loved sarah and the french canadian guy - good to give a nod to this other part of canada!

thought that the snowboarder at the beginning was a bit laboured and lame - also what happened to your beautiful anthem - murdered!! i thought the french canadian girl had a fab voice but why all the warbles!!???? i hope to go they don't have leonna lewis warbling at the OC in London also nellie what were you wearing??

one big prob for me was the sound of the broadcast on the beeb sucked - a kind of echo and gave the impression that the singers were out of sync?

Well done vancouver and canada!

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Some say it was a good ceremony. Others, like the UK's Guardian newspaper, gave it "a failing grade." In fact, some of the foreign media had some beef with some parts of the ceremony. What seemed to be one big source of the negative tirade was that "poem reading" by that guy about Canada.

Well in response to the UK newspaper, they should be proud of their lousy handover ceremony in Beijing. A double decker bus with Leona Lewis, Jimmy Page, and David Beckham kicking a ball into the crowd. That was the most boring handover I ever saw. I was expecting something a whole lot snazzier coming from London.

My parents thought that Vanoucver's was one of the best they've ever seen. And all the comments about the show needing more pyro? Seriously, do all the shows need more pyro? Perhaps enough pyro to take out the whole stadium? I'm glad the Vancouver one turned out the way it did. It set it apart from the other ceremonies. I thought it was a great show.

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Well in response to the UK newspaper, they should be proud of their lousy handover ceremony in Beijing. A double decker bus with Leona Lewis, Jimmy Page, and David Beckham kicking a ball into the crowd. That was the most boring handover I ever saw. I was expecting something a whole lot snazzier coming from London.

Don't you think this is a little bit harsh as a reaction to the opinion of one single British newspaper editor? You don't have a reason to be sour grapes -- there will always be people who have something to criticise about anything. But in general, the global media echo for the opening ceremony was quite good. That should be the important thing, and not the singular completely negative opinions.

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By the way, here's finally an absolutely decent version of "O Canada" performed at BC Place:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T5ZQQUwXiA

I still don't understand IceNarcissus' claim that many Canadians can't properly sing along their national anthem. To me, it sounded just fine. I very much hope that they'll have such a "sing along" version of the anthem at least at the closing ceremony. Nothing beats this anthem being sung by a choir of thousands of spectators.

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The best comment I heard so far with regards to the Niki Yanofski's version of the anthem was it sounded like the American Idol version of it. I don't know if they (the directors) were trying to portray "effortless" but it came out too rehearsed, amateur, tries too much.

In contrast, Julie Anthony's rendition of Advance Australia Fair in 2000 was quite simple, powerful, without trying too hard.

As to the video above, I am a big fan of the "transmoflection" look so I love the set-up, but is there smoke coming from beyond the curtains? is the cauldron still burning?

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I'm glad Measha did it in English and French. It was more accessible to the audience. The Olympic Hymn is beautiful not not everyone gets it. And to have it performed it in Greek in a Canadian ceremony with only one person doing the job would have lost many people.

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I'm also rather a fan of having the Olympic Anthem in the respective host's language -- although the Olympic Anthem was composed and written by two Greeks, it has become the "trademark song" for a global movement, staging global Games. So as a global song, I think it's absolutely appropriate to have it performed in different languages.

Bearing that in mind, I'm very curious how the Olympic Anthem will sound like in German in 2018. :P

Measha Brueggergosman's performance was, by the way, the best of an Olympic Anthem since at least the Athens 2004 closing ceremony -- with a rich orchestral introduction and accompaniment, and a great vocal performance. Beijing delivered a quite underwhelming performance in that regard, with those two a cappella versions. And not to speak of Torino which had maybe the most loveless Olympic Anthem "performances" (it was only an abbreviated version of a 50-year-old instrumental recording for the IOC!) in history. I wonder who will perform the anthem in the closing ceremony?

By the way: It's a shame that the IOC now even blocks home-made videos of Olympic events and ceremonies, like the video I posted above from Alexandre Bilodeau's medal ceremony. It was the filmer's own creative work and I suppose filming is not forbidden at the medal ceremonies. Really, this is not the way to behave in the Web 2.0 age, you old-fogyish Olympic dinosaurs! :angry:

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Measha Brueggergosman's performance was, by the way, the best of an Olympic Anthem since at least the Athens 2004 closing ceremony -- with a rich orchestral introduction and accompaniment, and a great vocal performance. Beijing delivered a quite underwhelming performance in that regard, with those two a cappella versions. And not to speak of Torino which had maybe the most loveless Olympic Anthem "performances" (it was only an abbreviated version of a 50-year-old instrumental recording for the IOC!) in history. I wonder who will perform the anthem in the closing ceremony?

Wholeheartedly agree. I thought Measha was fabulous. But then she always is.

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I HATE those operatic renditions of THE OLYMPIC HYMN. It makes the whole affair sound even more pretentious than it already is.

Also, it's NOT that hard to sing that any children's choir can't handle. I mean, why have one person screech it? Give it to a bunch of kids...they do a much better job.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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For those still wondering about the lack of Celine - she had this to say:

"Some people claimed she was unhappy with the placement she was being offered on the program. Others claimed she refused to go along with VANOC's "no live performance, all lip-synch" edict, while a third group insisted she was displeased with the choice of songs she was asked to perform.

But Dion is eager to lay all those rumours to rest. "I was invited, it was true, but I couldn't come because that was the exact day they had set for my in-vitro surgery. When you engage yourself clinically to have a baby, the body decides when you're ready. My body was being monitored. I had to be very careful.

"But if I had been able, I would have been there gladly. And I would have sung any song at any place at any time that they wanted me to. You don't go to the Olympics and say, `I want to do my song.' Everybody is there on a mission."

As frequently happens when Dion gets emotional, her words keep tumbling out. "Some people don't realize that the Olympics are not a show. We're supposed to be there to celebrate the achievements of young kids from around the world who are sometimes even giving their lives for the honour of their countries."

You can hear the tears welling up in her voice as you speak. "You have to understand, last Friday, the day of the opening ceremonies, was also the day of my surgery. I was under anaesthesia, moving in and out of consciousness the whole time. ...

"I guess that is one reason I was emotionally very involved. The tragedy of that young man." She's speaking of Georgian athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died during a trial luge run. "How can you not be touched?"

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/article/767762--sincerely-celine-dion ""How can you not be touched?"

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You can hear the tears welling up in her voice as you speak. "You have to understand, last Friday, the day of the opening ceremonies, was also the day of my surgery. I was under anaesthesia, moving in and out of consciousness the whole time. ...

I think that could've been incorporated into the Sacred Grove section...like a "House" or "Scrubs" segment...to show Canada's advance in medicine and then the medical staff tosses their scrubs and come out as maple-leaf druids!! And the baby pops out of Celine a la Alien!! It would've been a terrific number!

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I love the opening ceremonies. There may be some glitches. But the Canadian people put their heart in every performance.

I loved it!

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Personally, in hindsight one week later, I wish we spent a bit more on our Ceremonies. VANOC spent close to CAD$49-million on the Vancouver Opening and Closing Ceremonies, which is more than what Salt Lake and Torino spent.....but with inflation and considering everything costs more in Canada, it's much less. Not to mention that David Atkins also had to spend Ceremonies money upgrading the stadium, and such costs would usually have been covered by the OCOG and not the Ceremonies budget.

We should've had more performers, certainly not another Beijing but something like Salt Lake. It seemed like at the very most there were only about 1,500-2,000 actual performers.

"Bang the Drum" with Furtado and Adams

- this segment was a bit weird on tv, it could've used maybe a few hundred more performers as "everyday Canadians" joining in with the First Nations performers

"We Are More" by Shane Koyczan

- Terribly awkward. It's great for a domestic audience in Canada, but the entire world must be going "WTF" at that segment. And it was a huge anti-climax. I would have rather seen an actual artistic performance, ending the Opening Ceremony's cultural segment with a huge bang.

Lack of fireworks

- Fireworks going off outside BC Place after several segments would have been ideal and a great mood setter. The Ceremonies really lacked this. Sure, Beijing went all out on fireworks...but it doesn't mean we can't, everyone loves fireworks. After the cauldron was lit at BC Place, the fireworks display should have continued at BC Place...the short bursts were far too little. And the fireworks launched after the outdoor cauldron was lit was too far and too late.

Outdoor cauldron

- too far from the stadium, the time it took to get there = huge anticlimax

This Opening Ceremony was not Canada nor Vancouver at its best. I think if another $30-million were thrown at the Opening/Closing budget, a proper job would have been done. It seemed far too laid back.

I'm not expecting much from the Closing Ceremony, they're usually a huge step back from the Openings. And Vancouver will be evenmoreso.

With that said, 88% of British Columbians greatly enjoyed the Opening Ceremony...they would give it a gold medal. Personally, watching it in the stadium I enjoyed it as well but on tv it has come off as "meh" to me.

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And with regards to the cauldron failure at BC Place....after next Sunday's Closing Ceremony, David Atkins should be lynched for that. That should not have happened at all.

I'm starting to think maybe a Canadian should have been in charge of our Ceremonies. They would have had a personal responsibility to make the show flawless, but with hiring a foreigner while they have their reputation on the line they don't have this patriotic responsibility - it's merely just a job. And with Atkins, he has already done several of these Ceremonies - he has been exhausted, his good ideas already all used. And what we saw at the Vancouver Opening at times seemed like he was just re-using some of his ideas.

Perhaps I'm being too critical of Atkins right now and I should wait until the Closing for further judgement...I never expected another Beijing, and with the exception of the cauldron failure it was a "good" Ceremonies but it should have been better. He did not meet my personal expectations. And perhaps much of the problem lies with VANOC and governments of Canada and BC leaving much of the cultural aspects of the Games as an after thought. BC Place Stadium should have been retrofited with its new retractable roof BEFORE the Games began, NOT 2 MONTHS AFTER.

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I just re-watched the ceremony, and I think I have an even worse opinion on it. I mean really, the artistic portion ended with a morbidly obese poet going on about how great Canada was like it was a beer commercial, Was all this translated to the international viewers? To me it seemed as if there where only like 200 performers on the stage at a time and it looked very bad on TV. The actors who tried to speak French had extremely strong accents which sounded very bad. At times it was very cheesy and rarely beautiful.

People who I have talked to about it have the same general opinion, they where generally embarrassed and some even changed the channel out of boredom. Overall I give it a 4/10.

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I just re-watched the ceremony, and I think I have an even worse opinion on it. I mean really, the artistic portion ended with a morbidly obese poet going on about how great Canada was like it was a beer commercial, Was all this translated to the international viewers? To me it seemed as if there where only like 200 performers on the stage at a time and it looked very bad on TV. The actors who tried to speak French had extremely strong accents which sounded very bad. At times it was very cheesy and rarely beautiful.

People who I have talked to about it have the same general opinion, they where generally embarrassed and some even changed the channel out of boredom. Overall I give it a 4/10.

According to provincial and national opinion polls, you are in the minority. The vast majority of Canadians greatly enjoyed the Opening Ceremony...13-million Canadians watched the entire show on tv, that's 3-million more than the epic Salt Lake City gold medal hockey game.

I'm simply arguing it could and should have been much better.

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I think that could've been incorporated into the Sacred Grove section...like a "House" or "Scrubs" segment...to show Canada's advance in medicine and then the medical staff tosses their scrubs and come out as maple-leaf druids!! And the baby pops out of Celine a la Alien!! It would've been a terrific number!

:lol: :lol:

The baby better cry in French though, or the Official Languages Commissioner will have a fit again.

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And with regards to the cauldron failure at BC Place....after next Sunday's Closing Ceremony, David Atkins should be lynched for that. That should not have happened at all.

I'm starting to think maybe a Canadian should have been in charge of our Ceremonies. They would have had a personal responsibility to make the show flawless, but with hiring a foreigner while they have their reputation on the line they don't have this patriotic responsibility - it's merely just a job. And with Atkins, he has already done several of these Ceremonies - he has been exhausted, his good ideas already all used. And what we saw at the Vancouver Opening at times seemed like he was just re-using some of his ideas.

Perhaps I'm being too critical of Atkins right now and I should wait until the Closing for further judgement...I never expected another Beijing, and with the exception of the cauldron failure it was a "good" Ceremonies but it should have been better. He did not meet my personal expectations. And perhaps much of the problem lies with VANOC and governments of Canada and BC leaving much of the cultural aspects of the Games as an after thought. BC Place Stadium should have been retrofited with its new retractable roof BEFORE the Games began, NOT 2 MONTHS AFTER.

U're kinda right. See, Atkins' telling the story of Canada as a huge, expansive land was just TOO broad a subject to manifest into theatrical terms. The Frozen North idea was good...but it should've been MORE theatrical. And what was the Sacred Grove (spring?) thing all about? I mean you've seen these sylvan dances before. OK, so longer fabrix for the so-called "trees" which were also the streams for the salmon.

"Who Can hear the Wind?" was OK by itself (great as a Cirque or circus number), but insofar as a Winter Games ceremony, it looked lost.

Then the Fall/Quebec/ Grunge number, WTF? I thought maple leaves were passe. Yet, here...and I think his team ran out of original ideas; OK...we'll bath it in reddish golden colors, but we'll still bring out some 20 GIANT maple leave cut-outs and do a stomping number a la Sydney...except no one told them that the you're supposed to at least recreate the sounds of stomping feet or whatever...which made the number look unreal...not to mention unattractive with the grungy singer!!

Indeed, in hindsight, the Atkins team seemed to be grasping for original ideas; and that cauldron concept was more than they could bite. WHo thought of the cauldron design?

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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U're kinda right. See, Atkins' telling the story of Canada as a huge, expansive land was just TOO broad a subject to manifest into theatrical terms. The Frozen North idea was good...but it should've been MORE theatrical. And what was the Sacred Grove (spring?) thing all about? I mean you've seen these sylvan dances before. OK, so longer fabrix for the so-called "trees" which were also the streams for the salmon.

"Who Can hear the Wind?" was OK by itself (great as a Cirque or circus number), but insofar as a Winter Games ceremony, it looked lost.

Then the Fall/Quebec/ Grunge number, WTF? I thought maple leaves were passe. Yet, here...and I think his team ran out of original ideas; OK...we'll bath it in reddish golden colors, but we'll still bring out some 20 GIANT maple leave cut-outs and do a stomping number a la Sydney...except no one told them that the you're supposed to at least recreate the sounds of stomping feet or whatever...which made the number look unreal...not to mention unattractive with the grungy singer!!

Indeed, in hindsight, the Atkins team seemed to be grasping for original ideas; and that cauldron concept was more than they could bite. WHo thought of the cauldron design?

It's possible that Atkins had great ideas, but he didn't have the resources to do it. I mean, consider that Atkins literally had to go begging to the VANOC Board of Directors for another $8.5-million for the in-stadium cauldron, drapes, and proper light fixtures. And I'm guessing the permanent outdoor cauldron at the convention centre came right out of the Ceremonies budget, that would have taken a huge swipe out of the Ceremonies budget.

And maybe VANOC should have started its Ceremonies process much earlier? They began looking for a Creative Team in 2006, and in 2007 the David Atkins team was chosen. That gave them just 3 years to brainstorm, design, hire people, and rehearse for the Ceremonies. Well actually, the contents and design of the Ceremonies was finalized in late-2008 so that means they had 2-years for the design process.

Again, this is all in hindsight...but it goes along with the fact that VANOC and its government partners left the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as a giant afterthought while only focusing on the athletic competition side of their mandate.

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Again, this is all in hindsight...but it goes along with the fact that VANOC and its government partners left the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as a giant afterthought while only focusing on the athletic competition side of their mandate.

And even in that, they've Blown the Podium.

Sorry .... I couldn't resist.

B)

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