Sneak peek at Games Opening Ceremony

 

DELTA Goodrem is among the cast of thousands set to star in the opening ceremony of next week's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The ceremony, for more than 35,000 people at Carrara Stadium on April 4, will include the Commonwealth Parade of Nations, the Competitors' Oath and the finale to the Queen's Baton Relay, which started its international journey at Buckingham Palace more than a year ago.

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Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Commonwealth Games Federation vice-patron Prince Edward will attend the event alongside VIP guests invited by the State Government - believed to include Chris Hemsworth and Mick Fanning.

Ethan Nihot, 13, with Gamlaraay heritage, will play with the Yugambeh people who are putting on a didgeridoo orchestra for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Ethan Nihot, 13, with Gamlaraay heritage, will play with the Yugambeh people who are putting on a didgeridoo orchestra for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

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The opening and closing ceremonies are being directed by British choreographer David Zolkwer, from US-based company Jack Morton Worldwide, with musical direction by ARIA-award winning vocalist Katie Noonan.

Dami Im is also rumoured to be among the show's cast.

The ceremony will be broadcast Australia-wide live on the Seven Network, with Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas providing commentary on the artistic component and formalities and Bruce Macavaney and Tamsyn Lewis leading commentary for the Parade of Nations.

The centre of the Carrara Stadium ground has been filled with sand as the Gold Coast's beach lifestyle prepares to play a principal role in the spectacle.

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Sand inside Carrara Stadium as the venue is transformed into the stage for the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Picture: Nigel Hallett.
Sand inside Carrara Stadium as the venue is transformed into the stage for the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Picture: Nigel Hallett.

Hundreds of volunteer surf lifesavers and nippers and council lifeguards will lead teams representing the 71 competing nations and territories of the Commonwealth into the stadium for the Parade of Nations as their the flags are projected on to the sand.

A surf lifesaving boat, lifeguard tower and patrol vehicle will be positioned on the "beach" as lifesavers perform dance moves inspired by rescue signals.

Scotland will be the first team to enter the arena, with Australia the last team to arrive more than an hour later.

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Delta Goodrem will perform as part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Picture: Supplied.
Delta Goodrem will perform as part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Picture: Supplied.

Projections will play a prominent role in the spectacle, with 22 high-powered projectors commissioned to realise stunning visual effects including simulated waves rolling in and out along the sand.

Indigenous culture will also play an prominent part in the production, with Aboriginal artwork, dancers and a didgeridoo orchestra lead by local Yugambeh people.

The ceremony's cast and crew of more than 7000 will wear in-ear FM receivers to receive instructions from producers.

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Hundreds of Surf Life Saving Queensland volunteer lifesavers will join Gold Coast City Council lifeguards in the cast of the Opening Ceremony at Carrara Stadium on April 4. Picture: Nigel Hallett.
Hundreds of Surf Life Saving Queensland volunteer lifesavers will join Gold Coast City Council lifeguards in the cast of the Opening Ceremony at Carrara Stadium on April 4. Picture: Nigel Hallett.

More than 700 two-way radios have been commissioned for the production, which will feature a 3300m sq performance stage and 3200m sq of staging around the track to accommodate the Parade of Nations.

The grounds will be protected by more than 8000m sq of cloth and 6000m sq of temporary roadways, with 600m of trussing to support 46 tonnes of audio and lighting equipment.

Almost 15,000 Commonwealth Games volunteers will become the first people to see what's planned when the performers assemble for two dress rehearsals this weekend.

Operational elements of the show - including fireworks and pyrotechnics - will be tested on Easter Saturday and Easter Monday during the dress rehearsals.

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GOLDOC’s Opening and Closing Ceremonies creative team (from left): David Zolkwer, Wesley Enoch, Drew Anthony, Merryn Hughes, Katie Noonan and Nathan M. Wright. Picture: Richard Gosling.
GOLDOC’s Opening and Closing Ceremonies creative team (from left): David Zolkwer, Wesley Enoch, Drew Anthony, Merryn Hughes, Katie Noonan and Nathan M. Wright. Picture: Richard Gosling.

Many of the show's cast and volunteer crew are travelling from the Sunshine Coast and northern NSW for the gruelling schedule of rehearsals.

Participants and rehearsal audiences have been asked to jealously guard the ceremony's secrets while local residents have been warned to prepare for loud noises and explosions across the weekend.

Shuttle buses will transport participants to the rehearsals from Broadbeach South station, Nerang station and Peninsular Avenue, Surfers Paradise from 4.30pm on Saturday and Monday.

Anthony Callea and Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project will perform as part of the Closing Ceremony on April 15.