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Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony


mattygs

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Just coming to the end stages of the Opening Ceremony and *Light it Up* display.

Stunned by the events so far, never thought I would see that kind of performance of a ceremony in New Zealand - in this age of video based ceremonies.

Had the perfect touch of authentic culture and true rugby spirit, not to mention a nod to the City of Christchurch (for those not aware, the Canterbury rugby jersey are the red and black hoops).

Loved the music, Victoria Kelly did a great job. Big fan of the Pacifica choir too, very New Zealand.

I was really impressed at how polished the whole thing was, and loved the way that the ceremony really did link in with the hammerhead shark concept which is the basis of the New Zealand 2011 visual identity.

Well done David Atkins and team.

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Not my favourite World Cup Ceremony (i still bow down to Cardiff) but visually stunning, presented excellent and a great mix of modern and culture.

I wasnt a fan of the World in Union rendition as it became a bit of a mix match near the end.

But the atmosphere was electric and now i getting ready for the anthems

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Polynesian choirs tend to take abit of getting used to, they often sound out of tune, just the way they sing I guess.

Really wish the cameras didnt focus on Jonah when he was trying to dance though.

Thought the rugby guys in the ceremony were almost a cool little homage to the guys from Otago Uni who do the ballet thing every year.

Just wait for the complaints to come into the BSA for all the naked ass on display though. haha.

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Just right for a 30 min rugby world cup opening ceremony. Puts France completly to shame for 2007. I wish we had had a really powerful song like how great thou art but overall a perfect start to the tournament

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That rendition of WIU was for the opening only...Hayley Westner sings the official version.

A nice quick opening felt longer than it really was...

Loved the fireworks, watercraft and container straddler choreography in the final act..

Unusual? Yes. Reflective of ALL New Zealand? Definitely not!

More an Auckland theme...Sorry.

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I dunno, I didn't see too much Auckland in it. There were sailing boats I guess, which is very Auckland, but at the same time it is reflective of all the waves of migration to New Zealand - pretty much all via boat.

Good to see Tauranga represent too with Ria Hall singing World in Union.

Also nice to see a dramatic representation of Maori culture for a change, rather than the traditional Marae style all in a line singing away.

The Auckland Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony had that huge field full of horis and pois avenue covered, which was heartwarming I guess - but a more theatrical style here is a welcome change I think.

Must say, it's total justification for giving the contract to DAE. He's kept to his word and come up with a Kiwi creative team and delivered a driven Kiwi ceremony.

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Well I did predict a condensed 1990 CWGs theme...Have to admit the Mayoori haka theme is becomming hohum.

A brief nod to Christchurch and almost no Wellington representation...The PM is an Aucklander after all...and sorry, a film clip cutting through stock video of Mountainous landscapes doesn't cut it for the rest of NZ. The waterfront event saved it, 6 out of 10.

Not the best RWC opening ceremony so far...IMO anyway.

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I don't really think there was a need, or a possibility to represent every part of the country, especially in just 25minutes.

In my mind, looking at what Im thinking the whole concept was, they didn't really favour any particular region or city.

- The Call: quite obviously the nation calling out to the rugby playing world.

This moved on to where we saw the boats, I guess the obvious representation being Auckland, but more so representing the nations answering the call to come for the cup, and as i mentioned, all of NZs main waves of migration (at least the first 3) have been ocean going quests.

Then this moves in to a more rugby orientated theming. And of course we had the representations of the indig people of New Zealand.

No real dominant Aucklandness in there from my point of view.

Should be noted that members of the Maori Kapahaka group came from all over New Zealand, I know for a fact that there were a bunch from Gisborne in there.

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Agree with ya that the harbour portion of the opening ceremony was amazing. Only just had a chance to watch it as the French commentators cut to the traditional pre game fluff and ignored it, would be interested to know if it featured on any of the other international broadcasts?

In any case, I feel that the 12minutes took the ceremony over the bar, it was one of the first true demonstrations of taking the opening ceremony outside of the stadium.

A fantastic soundtrack with a catchy song at the end featuring the cliche and the quirky, the cranes zipping around the harbour, the guys walking down the side of buildings, the Polynesian choir, the draq queens - an amazing sight.

Finally Auckland's weather came to the party for a pyro display, they've had abit of a bad record with things like that.

The full Opening Ceremony and harbour show can be seen here in 4 vid clips from TVNZ. The user has all 4 videos in their uploads

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Sadly for many the night has been ruined by the spectacular failure of Auckland's non-road public transport network.

Both Rail and Ferry services have had major problems all night and an inquiry has been called for.

As an aside Mattygs, your in Paris, not here in NZ so you've missed all the hype and buildup throughout the week...It took six years to get to this point and Auckland still didn't get it quite right.

Re-watched the ceremony again and still didn't get an overwhelming buzz until the waterfront fireworks act started...Really was impressive.

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I have watched the complete 4 videos now (which matty posted) and I have to say that there were some very nice segments - my favourite one was the one, which was rugby related

"The Call" - I loved the video with the "voyage" over New Zealand - when I am the next time "down under" (that will be my next big vacation after "London 2012") I have to do a combination New Zealand/Australia...

"The Journey" - of course I am aware that sailing is very popular in New Zealand, but I think that is the rugby world cup and not the admirals cup - but it was nice to watch and very impressive

"The Challenge" - that was the "maori-part" - haka is always amazing - and the lava video projection was great with the flames

"The Match" - that was my favourite part of the whole show - since it looked great and it was rugby related

"The Song" - well that was "just" a song

"The Speech" - you could recognise that Key is very proud of "his" nation and that NZ has the honour to host it (for me it was interesting to see that "Kiwis" have a totally different accent than anywhere else of the world)

"The Fireworks" - when you don't know Auckland Harbour it was just another fireworks.

my total "verdict" - nice Opening ceremony which fit with the fact that the RWC is a huge international sport event

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Found another broadcast of the ceremony on youtube, sounds like it may have been done for Maori Television perhaps???

In any case, it's alot less fluff and gives a pretty good outline of the ceremony from the point of view of the script that broadcasters were probably given. Also gives a pretty good outlook on alot of the Maori content of the ceremony.

Interesting tidbits such as the Journey segment being based on the traditional Maori proverb

Kia hora te marino

Kia whakapapa pounama te moana

Kia tere karohirohi

May the calm be widespread,

may the sea glisten like greenstone

and may the shimmer of summer

dance across your path.

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As a side note on music information, with the bulk of the score from Victoria Kelly, the music used in the battlefield segment (the rugby segment) was My Lion by Kiwi dub artist Tiki Taane, he's abit of a legend here - and appropriate since the dub and roots music movement is huge in NZ.

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I'll have the watch the OC through those links (thanks Matty). Not sure what Pay TV (Foxtel) showed here, but on free-to-air Channel Nine they didn't even show the opening match until three hours after - a Scooby Doo special and then the opening game of the NRL/Rugby League finals series took precedence (not that I'm complaining - Tigers beat St George - Yea! Go Tiges!)

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haha, the Draqqueens aren't the most popular NRL team are they.

Actually, from the looks of it, there was quite abit of media in NZ re the channel 9 scheduling of the likes of scooby doo, csi, friends etc over the RWC opener.

I had a mate in OZ tape the foxtel version for me, apparantly they showed most of it.

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"The Speech" - you could recognise that Key is very proud of "his" nation and that NZ has the honour to host it (for me it was interesting to see that "Kiwis" have a totally different accent than anywhere else of the world)

John Key has a totally different accent to anyone else in the world.

Gotta say I was pretty blown away with the whole show. Watched the whole thing down on Quay st on the Auckland Waterfront and it was just magical. The fireworks just took my breath away.

Feeling quite proud to be a kiwi.

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Just watched the ceremony a second time. I think having the little guy in Canterbury colours and Jonah Lomu's line "Do it for Christchurch my friend" were really lovely touches. Plus the Pacifika version of the 'World In Union' was brilliant. I mean we could have had a bog standard soprano a la Hayley Westenra belt it out and it would have been magnificent in it's own right (final match perhaps) but the polynesian choir was a nice regional touch.

5 Stars!

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One of the largest ever New Zealand television audiences tuned into the opening night of Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) official figures show.

Combining the live broadcast by host broadcaster Sky Television on Sky Sport 1, and live broadcasts on free-to-air channels Television New Zealand (One) and Maori Television, an audience of 1,635,780 watched live broadcasts of the opening match between Tonga and New Zealand, won 41-10 by the All Blacks.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman, Bernard Lapasset said: "Rugby World Cup continues to raise the bar in terms of audiences with each Tournament and New Zealand 2011 is being broadcast in over 200 territories.

"I am delighted that the spectacular opening to the biggest event ever hosted in New Zealand drew such a large television audience in the country. These excellent figures truly show that New Zealanders are right behind the Tournament."

Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd CEO Martin Snedden said the audience figures were extremely satisfying.

“That is an absolutely incredible number especially when you consider that the total potential television audience in New Zealand is 1.9 million households, and some 200,000 people were in central Auckland and another 60,000 were at Eden Park, plus thousands more watching live in Fanzones across the country.

“I would think that this might represent one of the highest rates of viewership for a major event in the host country anywhere, which underlines that our vision of a stadium of four million, and a nationwide festival, has well and truly come to life.”

The television audience number does not include the audience for a delayed broadcast of the match on TV3 nor any of the other delayed broadcasts (online or otherwise).

Similar numbers watched the opening ceremony on Sky and TVNZ (One) with well over one million households tuning in to watch the distinctively New Zealand ceremony which has received rave reviews around the world.

The strong viewing audience continued into day two of the Tournament with 750,000 people tuning in to Sky Sports 1 and Maori Television watch live coverage of Match 5 – England versus Argentina – from Otago Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday evening.

The match concluded a blockbuster day of RWC 2011 matches with an unprecedented four matches staged across New Zealand stretching from Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill (Romania v Scotland) to North Harbour Stadium at Albany (France v Japan).

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