The Opening Ceremony of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in Auckland was internationally hailed as a spellbinding and spectacular opening to the Tournament.
In just 30 minutes, this one of a kind show told the story of New Zealand and its unique place in the Pacific, and represented the coming together of countries from around the world in pursuit of Rugby’s greatest prize.
This was the most technically complex ceremony ever hosted before the opening match of a Rugby World Cup, seamlessly integrating projection, lighting, sculptural scenic elements and a flying system into a venue that had never before been used for live entertainment.
The show involved extensive cultural engagement with the Maori community which lead to the first ever mass performance of people from iwi across the country in front of a global television audience.
A seamless blend of field of play projection and full-screen broadcast video packages took audiences beyond the confines of Eden Park to see the vast, natural beauty of New Zealand. This innovative creative approach expanded storytelling possibilities by cleverly blending live performance elements with pre-records in never before seen ways.
According to Bernard Lapasset, Chairman of the International Rugby Board, the Opening Ceremony in Auckland was the most exciting and spectacular in the history of Rugby World Cup, and has set a new standard for all those to come.