By the Numbers: Opening Ceremonies

With 45 days to go to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games preparations have picked up a pace, and today artistic director Danny Boyle has paid tribute to the 10,000 volunteers, cast and crew rehearsing night and day to make the Opening Ceremony a success. There have already been 157 cast rehearsals for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, with volunteer performers giving up their evenings and weekends to take part in 37 rehearsals at the new site in Barking & Dagenham where detailed preparations for both the Olympic Opening and Closing ceremonies are taking place. (LOCOG)

June 12 (Reuters) – Danny Boyle, the British film maker in charge of the opening ceremony at this year’s Olympic Games in London, unveiled plans for the event on Tuesday. Following are some of the numbers behind the 27 million pound ($42 million) July 27 show:

• The ceremony is predicted to be viewed live by a worldwide TV audience of over a billion people

• It will open with the ringing of the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world, produced by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, measuring two meters (yards) tall by three meters wide and weighing 23 tons

• There are 15,000 square meters of staging – equivalent to 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools

• A flying system will be installed that can lift 25 tonnes or the same as five elephants

• 12,956 props, over 100 times more than a West End musical

• A million watt PA system using double the amount of speakers as on the main stage at the Glastonbury music festival

• 10,000 adult volunteer performers

• Volunteer performers from the National Health Service for a special sequence that celebrates Britain’s healthcare system

• 900 children aged 7-9 years and 11-13 years chosen from schools in the six host boroughs engaged in the official London 2012

• Real farmyard animals expected to feature in the opening ceremony include 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese, 70 sheep, and 3 sheep dogs

• Each of the four nations will be represented by their national flower – the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and flax from Northern Ireland

• The opening ceremony is titled “Isles of Wonder”, inspired by William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”

• The worldwide broadcast will begin at 9 p.m. local time.

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