Two-hour opening ceremony to kick off 28th Games on Friday night

Performers during a rehearsal of the opening ceremony's first act, called DNA. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 
Performers during a rehearsal of the opening ceremony's first act, called DNA. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 
A performance, called The Big Singapore Welcome, being rehearsed during a full-dress rehearsal of the SEA Games 2015's opening ceremony at the National Stadium. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 
A performance, called The Big Singapore Welcome, being rehearsed during a full-dress rehearsal of the SEA Games 2015's opening ceremony at the National Stadium. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 
A performance, called The Big Singapore Welcome, being rehearsed during a full-dress rehearsal of the SEA Games 2015's opening ceremony at the National Stadium. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 
A performance, called The Big Singapore Welcome, being rehearsed during a full-dress rehearsal of the SEA Games 2015's opening ceremony at the National Stadium. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 
A performance, called The Big Singapore Welcome, being rehearsed during a full-dress rehearsal of the SEA Games 2015's opening ceremony at the National Stadium. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 
A performance, called The Big Singapore Welcome, being rehearsed during a full-dress rehearsal of the SEA Games 2015's opening ceremony at the National Stadium. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 

SINGAPORE - The 28th edition SEA Games, the region's biggest multi-sport event, will kick off under the iconic dome of the new National Stadium on Friday night.

The Straits Times will be reporting live from the venue as the event officially marks the start of the June 5-16 Games, which will see participation from about 7,000 athletes and officials from 11 nations.

While much about the programme of the opening ceremony is kept under tight wraps, what is clear is that the two-hour show, led by creative director Beatrice Chia-Richmond, promises to be a splendid spectacle.

The opening ceremony will include a five-act, 40-minute show. There will be performers from the Singapore Soka Association, Singapore Dikir Barat Federation, Eurasian Association, and schools like Methodist Girls' School and Raffles Institution.

Records will be broken even before national sporting marks are re-written - a total of 160 high-definition projects will be used, transforming the floor of the National Stadium into a massive screen. It will be the largest projection system used in any sporting event in the world to date.

Several past sporting legends from sports such as athletics, swimming, bowling and sailing are also set to be included in the show.  

The evening will culminate in the lighting of the Games cauldron, revealing what has been the subject of wide speculation so far - the identity of the final torchbearer.

In the three previous Games that Singapore has hosted, the cauldron has been lit by some of the Republic's best sporting talents. Sprint legend C. Kunalan lit it in 1973, the late Tan Eng Yoon kicked the 1983 Games off, while bowler Grace Young was given the honour in 1993.

maychen@sph.com.sg

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