UEFA Euro 2008: opening ceremony
June 7th, 2008
Project development (Opening & Closing ceremonies): 13 months
In May 2007 Martin Arnaud and the agency Auditoire won the international competition launched by UEFA to design, produce and stage the EURO 2008 opening and closing ceremonies.
In Saint Jakob Stadium, 40,000 spectators attended a festive ceremony, which revisited clichés about Switzerland and Austria with a dynamic and resolutely modern staging that humorously celebrated the two host countries.
600 performers played out the pixel art-inspired images the public expected, set around six key scenes.
The show unfolded in the centre of the field as well as in the stands, where performances by alphornists, percussionists and snow girls punctuated the ceremony.
The Rhine and the Danube rivers met at Lake Constance…
Cows in search of fresh edelweiss were chased about green pastures by shepherds, who were distracted by the attractive “milky girls”, oblivious to their attentions…
Mountains draped in a white mantle of snow so skiers could race down the slopes…
A stop-over in Vienna, where the lackeys didn’t take kindly to their traditional waltz being danced with a Saturday Night Fever flavour…
A homage to the players under mounting pressure in the locker rooms… A human clock counting down the minutes until kick-off…
The ceremony drew to a close with the spectacular sight of the EURO 2008 logo being formed on the ground in the stadium as the sky filled with a pyrotechnical countdown.
Les Petits Français
Martin Arnaud, Concept, Show Design and Direction
Philippe Castanet, General Production
Brigitte Le Noach, Production Direction
Valentine Ventura, Artistic Coordination
Jean-Marc Hennaut, Technical Direction
Original soundtrack and sound design
Dulcie Best, Costume Design
Anne-Marie Baron, Costume Designer Assistant
Olivier Fermier & Frédéric Lanjouere, Prop Design
Pierre Emmanuel Gelis