Don’t underestimate Londontown when it comes to rising to the occasion and proving their detractors wrong – Mitt Romney take note!
The opening ceremony for the 30th Olympiad was an epic achievement thanks to the genius of British director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire fame who was commissioned to kick off the monumental global event.
The British Isles is linked by scenic rolling hills, enthralling pageantry and a host of omnipotent scribes, not to mention a more amicable health care system. All of those elements peppered through the dramatic extravaganza and it was quite overwhelming to take in the insightful journey from the days of old to the modern age while also appreciating the classic ingenuity of past and present day pioneers.
There were some familiar faces along the way, actor Kenneth Branagh and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling provided judicious narration and all the supporting players chimed in helping to expose a world of splendor set against breathtakingly symbolic melodies. The spellbinding aerial play of performers dressed as the beloved British nanny Mary Poppins was quite a treat as were the “happy feet” nurses who did their utmost best to celebrate the novelty of Peter Pan.
There were quite a few eye-popping moments as expected but Her Majesty being escorted by none other than James Bond (Daniel Craig) from Buckingham Palace to a waiting helicopter was by far the biggest showstopper of the night. But it didn’t end there! The Queen and her Secret Agent decided to make a stunning entrance by parachuting into the already revved up Olympic Stadium. And they say the Royals are too stiff to accommodate a sense of humor!? The festivities officially kicked off with a BANG and there was no shortage of climatic vignettes, complete with fable influences and a graphic homage to the soundtrack of our lives, which predictably involved a heavy infusion of The Beatles.
Soccer god David Beckham looked rather smashing on the speedboat that glared with his country’s national colors and carried the legendary Olympic torch as it made its way swiftly to Olympian rower Steve Redgrave for the last leg of its journey.
The musical numbers were as jarring as they were moving, with heightened renditions of National treasures like Jerusalem, Bread of Heaven and of course the evoking theme from the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) himself provided some comical relief during the rousing Chariots of Fire performance, and it proved to be a welcomed distraction.
Sir Paul McCartney brought the house down with the always-endearing Hey Jude, and the grand finale erupted with a vibrant hail of fireworks that transformed the city into an apocalyptic renaissance.
For all the hype and banter, the elaborate preview London 2012 absolutely delivered the goods, packaged in a thunderous operatic bundle. Just the way the Brits like it.