London 2012 Olympics: Elgar and Sir Paul McCartney to feature in opening ceremony
Elgar is expected to feature in the London 2012 opening ceremony after forming part of the soundtrack to video presentations used to persuade David Cameron to stump up another £40 million to the staging costs.
by PAUL KELSO
Cameron was shown two six-minute films by opening ceremony director Danny Boyle on a visit to Downing Street, one based on a £40 million ceremonies budget, the other on an £80 million spend.
The presentation was pivotal in Cameron giving the go-ahead for additional public spending, arguing that the ceremonies represent an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Britain to the world. In his New Year’s message the Prime Minister said: “We have to go for it.”
Elgar’s Nimrod, from the Enigma Variations, is thought to have featured in the films, though the man considered by some the greatest of English composers will be joined by far more contemporary music as Boyle seeks to marry tradition with the best of modern creative Britain.
Dance act Underworld, who collaborated with Boyle on Trainspotting, are musical directors for the show and will add a keener edge to the ceremony soundtrack. Sir Paul McCartney has also been tipped to perform at the opening or closing ceremonies in London, with organisers aware of the huge popularity of classic British acts with audiences round the world, especially in the US.
Boyle is also understood to be trialling state-of-the-art technology for the ceremony, including advanced CGI film techniques borrowed from film that will allow London to match-up to Beijing’s spectacular £65 million opening ceremony without being able to call on the massive number of performers present in China.