SINGAPORE - More than 40,000 spectators will form a virtual canvas for the opening ceremony of Singapore's biggest sporting event on June 5.
The Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (Singsoc) will be giving all audience members a commemorative LED medallion to be hung around their necks, and the medallions will be activated during the three-hour spectacle to create a giant "wall" of display graphics and moving images.
Together with the 5,000 performers and volunteers, the spectators will transform the National Stadium into a kaleidoscope of colours and pageantry to launch the 28th SEA Games.
As host of the biennial Games for the first time since 1993, Singapore will be welcoming more than 7,000 athletes and officials across 36 sports for the region's biggest multi-sport event in the Republic's Golden Jubilee year.
Its scale will surpass the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, which involved around 5,000 athletes and officials across 26 sports.
The 55,000-seat stadium will be reconfigured for the ceremony to accommodate around 40,000 fans. All of them will be immersed in a 360-degree multimedia experience; the stadium floor will be transformed into a massive screen, thanks to 160 high-definition projectors, while images will also be beamed onto the dome roof.
Audiences, including the millions of television viewers across South-east Asia, will also be entertained by a host of flying performers and props, supported by a system of tracks and cables attached to the stadium roof. These stunts will blend in with the musical, dance and pyrotechnics segments of the show.
During yesterday's media briefing at the Sports Hub, the Opening and Closing Ceremony's (OCC) creative director, Ms Beatrice Chia-Richmond said: "If we could get three things right - creating a spectacle, presenting the heart of the host country as well as welcoming our South-east Asian neighbours - then I think we will be successful."
She and her team have been brainstorming since 2013, and they sought inspiration from other major sporting events such as the 2012 London Olympics.
Said Singsoc executive committee chairman Lim Teck Yin: "This is a special year for Singapore, our 50th anniversary, and we aim to make the 28th SEA Games a very special celebration for Singaporeans."
Local artists Gurmit Singh, Sharon Au and Nikki Muller will host the opening ceremony, which will also showcase some of the country's best home-grown musical talents such as The Sam Willows and violin star Siow Lee Chin. Around 3,000 soldiers from the Singapore Armed Forces' Artillery Formation will provide support for both ceremonies. Said the Chief Artillery Officer and OCC's chairman, Colonel Lawrence Lim: "The expanse of the new national stadium and the surrounding Kallang Basin has much to offer, and we will leverage on this new facility to deliver a spectacular and inspiring show that all Singaporeans can be proud of."
Priority tickets for both ceremonies - for those who had registered last year - went on sale yesterday. Public sales begin next Thursday from 10am through the SEA Games official website and hotline. Ticket prices range from $12 to $60 before concessions. Competition tickets for the 36 sports will be released by the end of this month.
Ms Melissa Chen, 29, who is self-employed, has already snapped up four tickets and intends to take her two young children, aged four and two, to the show. She said: "I grew up cheering on Singapore athletes at the SEA Games on television. It will be very special to be a part of this in person, and for my children to experience it too."
OPENING CEREMONY (JUNE 5): $60, $40, $12
CLOSING CEREMONY (JUNE 16): $40, $20, $12
Tickets are available online at www.seagames2015.com from Jan 22, 10am. Other sales channels include the SEA Games ticketing hotline on +65-3158-8080, SingPost outlets and the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Concession tickets - at half-price - are available to full-time national servicemen, those aged from two to 18, and seniors aged 50 and above. A 20 per cent discount will be given for purchases of four tickets or more, and DBS Bank or POSB cardholders.
Ticket prices exclude administration fee and delivery charge.
This article was first published on January 16, 2015.
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