Rugby League World Cup 2013 organisers have confirmed details of the hotly-anticipated Opening Ceremony at the Millennium Stadium on October 26.
Involving specially-designed lighting, original music, and a dance extravaganza created by some of the UK’s leading choreographers, the spectacular opening to RLWC2013 will involve more than 1,500 performers.
Noted classical singer Camilla Kerslake will sing ‘God Save The Queen’ ahead of England’s clash with Australia. Kerslake has sung for the Queen and an audience of 140,000 people at the Epsom Derby.
Music at the ceremony will also include performances from female classical-pop quartet Escala and Welsh ‘Queen of the Harps’ Catrin Finch, and a mass choir of a thousand voices.
Finch’s CD The Celtic Concerto went to number one this year in the classical charts. In 2000, she was appointed Royal Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, a position which she held for four years reviving the ancient tradition of a post last held in 1873.
The dance performance will feature Opening Ceremony presenter Gethin Jones and Martin Offiah doing the jive with their original Strictly Come Dancing partners, Camilla Dallerup and Erin Boag.
RLWC2013 ambassador Gareth Thomas will also be putting on his dancing shoes, joining hundreds of elite and community dancers on the Cardiff pitch. He will dance with 50 professional dancers, among the best in the UK.
They Will be joined by 500 dancers from local communities in Wales and South West England as part of a £1 million project part-funded by the Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales, and supported by the charity Wooden Spoon.
RLWC2013 Ambassador, Martin Offiah said: “I’ll be reunited with my Strictly partner Erin Boag. I have to say I’m nervous but also very excited. I might take a little grief from the fans but it should be good fun.”
RLWC2013 Tournament General Manager, Sally Bolton said: “It is amazing that Strictly Come Dancing, one of the biggest shows on the BBC, have agreed to be a key part of the Opening Ceremony. To have Gethin Jones and Martin Offiah as part of that will be a real treat for the crowd.
“But there is more than just dance to look forward to. Music from Camilla Kerslake, Catrin Finch and Escala will also give the show a real touch of quality and vibrancy to complement the matches to follow.
“And there’ll be dramatic lighting, special effects, and an aerial show celebrating the 14 nations taking part in what promises to be a great tournament, the first major sporting event taking place in the UK since London 2012.
“All in all, the atmosphere under the closed roof of the Millennium Stadium is going to be electric, so it’s really important that fans are in their seats by 1.30pm. It’s a show not to be missed.”
Make sure you #bethere from the start for the global sporting event of 2013, to witness a spectacular show and two epic international Rugby League encounters under the closed roof at one of world sport’s most atmospheric stadia.