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I honestly don't see what is wrong with a map in the shape of Russia. If Sydney or London did it people would see it as another fantastic gesture of inclusion, but when Russia simply designs a stage

The whole point of the ceremony is to see different cultures and how those cultures see themselves and their Games. The type of people who criticised Athens for that are probably the same people who s

It looks like a Montessori Convention more than a world-class competition venue.

I think there might be an LCD screen hung from the roof. I can't see another reason to have that huge temporary roof there.

Oh, tons of stuff will hang. Giant screens, lighting, projectors, special effex stuff, maybe even the 'show' cauldron could descend from the upper part.

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^^ Last year they said there would be naval battleships as part of the ceremony since there will be a segment dedicated to Russia's Petrine Revolution, but i'm not sure if that info were just ideas or something not official at all.

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Altho -- where did I see it -- Sochi is only using performers in the 3,000 range - much like Torino's 3400 performers (and Athens was close to that).

Oh yes, so they are. Unless they just use the stadium as an oversized TV studio (which I think would greatly displease Vladimir), or some performers are going to be in action for a long time (like London's drummers in the Parade of Nations), or there's an additional, so-far undeclared contribution from the armed forces, I guess this OC is going to have to feature some pretty amazing mechanical or virtual displays.

Battleships though? I do hope not- when I think of the Russian navy my first image is of the Battle of Tsushima.

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This stadium has London Aquatic Centre Syndrome. The temporary additions for the Games have made it look a bit of a botch job from the outside, but it's likely to look fantastic once the world's eyes are no longer on it.

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Might the "show" cauldron be inside that thing? Looks like they've stuck an aircraft hangar onto the stadium.

Well it's on the opposite side of the exterior cauldron, so I doubt it.

I still am doubtful that there will be a show cauldron to begin with and that what we've seen so far is the only cauldron

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Here's something from last week which I don't recall seeing on GB:

Major stars booked for Sochi’s opening show
November 29, 2013 Viktoria Ivanova, Izvestia
The four main events of the Sochi Games will feature the violist Yuri Bashmet, ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina, conductor Valery Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev.

The Russian Ministry of Culture has announced a competition to organize the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games, but names of scheduled participants have already leaked out.

Although the ministry said it will announce the winners of a competition only on Dec. 13, the roster for all ceremonies was set long ago: those masters among the invitees know their schedule many seasons in advance. No surprises are allowed here.

TASS_Gergiev_200.jpg

Major Russian stars will perform at four of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games’ events, including violist Yuri Bashmet and director Valery Gergiev. Prior to the Games, both maestros will meet up during the Winter International Arts Festival, which Bashmet hosts in Sochi.

The festival will open prior to and feature in the Games’ culture program. The Games will also see a performance from the first All-Russia Junior Orchestra headed by Bashmet.

About 1,069 participants, including four directors, three soloist-vocalists, six ballet artists, one pianist, one violinist, an orchestra, and a choir will participate in opening ceremony.

It was reported earlier that the British authors of the “Isles of Wonder” show from the London Olympics opening are helping to create the Sochi program.

Gergiev de facto confirmed his participation in the Olympics back in September, during a presidium meeting of the All-Russia Choral Society he oversees. There was talk then of a performance during the opening ceremony by the children’s choir he oversees, and casting started in Russia’s regions in September for the Olympic combined children’s choir of 1,000 people.

The prominent pianist Denis Matsuev has announced his active participation in the cultural program of the Olympics.

“To be sure, I am participating in the Olympics, but how – I will not disclose secrets. Naturally, I will play the piano and root for our athletes,”he said.

Edgard Zapashny, the director of the Moscow State Big Circus on Prospekt Vernadskogo, said that solely Russian circus artists will participate in the ceremonies.

“I’m tremendously glad about this. I was displeased that Cirque du Soleil worked at the University Olympics in Kazan. When Russians do something, it should be through Russian efforts. In many things, especially circus and ballet, we can dictate who is the strongest on this planet,” Zapashny said.

Izvestia reported that Ulyana Lopatkina, the prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater, will be among the ballet artists representing Russia. Lopatkina performed also at the Vancouver Olympics.


Natalia Neumann, the general manager for opera prima donna Maria Guleghina, also lamented the impossibility of “disclosing information.” Yet she confirmed that Maria Guleghina will definitely attend the opening of the Paralympic games, as she is an honorary member of the International Paralympic Committee.

The Ministry of Culture has earmarked 40.5 million rubles ($1.2 million) for all four ceremonies, exclusive of fees, since actors of the high arts have high demands. The opening ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi will be held at Fisht Olympic Stadium on Feb. 7, 2014.

Plans call for a performance on three stages with heroes of Russian tales, the Russian troika from Gogol’s “Dead Souls, and Peter I commanding five ships. Imperial Russia will give way to the 20th century with 15 buildings, six locomotives, six bridges and sculptures.

The ceremony will end with the lighting of the Olympic flame. The Games will close on Feb. 23. The opening and closing ceremonies of the 11th Paralympic Winter Games will take place from March 7 to 16, 2014.

First published in Russian in Izvestia.

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Only 1.2 million dollars for all four ceremonies, exclusive of fees? That seems remarkably little to me, didn't we know of a significantly higher budget for the Sochi ceremonies already?

By the way: Valery Gergiev already was the conductor during Sochi's handover in Vancouver. He was the guy who conducted an orchestra in Moscow's Red Square by video projection from Vancouver's BC Place.

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That's odd. So the Principle Conductor of the LSO conducts the Sochi ceremonies with a Russian Orchestra, yet the Principle Conductor of the Berlin Phil conducted the LSO during the London ceremony.

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Only 1.2 million dollars for all four ceremonies, exclusive of fees? That seems remarkably little to me, didn't we know of a significantly higher budget for the Sochi ceremonies already?

That may be just the size of the Ministry of Culture's direct contribution. It's certainly an amazingly small figure for a net budget.

I note also that there seems to be no question here of top performers receiving the Russian equivalent of a 1 GBPound fee for their Ceremony appearances.

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That may be just the size of the Ministry of Culture's direct contribution. It's certainly an amazingly small figure for a net budget.

I note also that there seems to be no question here of top performers receiving the Russian equivalent of a 1 GBPound fee for their Ceremony appearances.

Yeah, I think this is an extra sum the Ministry of Culture is throwing in for the 'classical artists' vs. the Russian ice skaters who might be performing just for an honorary fee. So the Ministry is safeguarding the commercial value of their full-fledged artists. One wonders too if those additional fees also aren't compensation to extra concerts that said artists have given as part of Sochi's Cultural Olympiad...if they even had one.

Only 1.2 million dollars for all four ceremonies, exclusive of fees? That seems remarkably little to me, didn't we know of a significantly higher budget for the Sochi ceremonies already?

It was $40 mil per the bid book...but I am sure. including all the infrastructure changes they are adding to Fisht, that sum I think may end up to $75 million (for all four).

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