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2008 Launch – More Details


A GIANT cast of more than 1,300 performers – from schoolchildren to ex-Beatle Ringo Starr – will officially launch Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture this weekend.

A unique double bill of performances on Friday and Saturday, January 11-12 2008 commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company, will kick start a year-long programme of more than 350 events, many of which will be free and are set to attract an extra two million visitors to the city.

On Friday, The People’s Opening will take place in front of St George’s Hall in the city centre. At 20:08hrs, the artists and people of the city gather together for an extraordinary performance from the rooftops surrounding Liverpool’s cultural heart.

Two songs will also be premiered at the show – one by Ringo Starr and Dave Stewart and one by up and coming Liverpool band – The Wombats. Both will be released as singles on Monday, January 14.

This live outdoor production has required:

* Four cranes including a 150 foot and 250 foot crane to form part of the show
* Four performing forklifts
* 50 km of cable
* 60 tonnes of containers
* 100 tonnes of staging and structures
* 80 tonnes of lighting
* 14 tonnes of speakers
* One km of performance space
* Four km fibre optic cable
* 15 camera’s
* Two 40 by 40 foot projection screens and a 10 metre sq LED screen
* Event personnel of 250 doing over 40,000 hours of work to create and build the show

The show includes:

* 600 local people including 20 guitarists, choirs and schoolchildren
* 40 aerial performers
* The choirs are assembled from Liverpool Philharmonic Community Gospel Choir, One Voice Community Choir, ACCORD Community Gospel Choir, Sound Central Community Singers, Formby High Midnight Voices, One Heart Singers
* Choir Director and vocal arrangement: Tyndale Thomas. Sopranos: Kadria Thomas, Debbie Jones, Lisa Smith. Additional vocals: Yvonne Shelton, Zena Taylor, Mark McKenzie, Stuart Bell
* Pupils from Pleasant St (Toxteth) and St Christopher’s (Speke) primary schools.
* Running time: 40 minutes

At 20.08hrs on Saturday, January 12, Liverpool – The Musical will be staged at the new Echo Arena Liverpool, Kings Dock.

Integrating live performance and film in a radical new way and vertically stacking performers seven stories into the air, the show features a once-in-a-lifetime cast including: Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in collaboration with; No Fakin DJs, Ringo Starr, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Farm, Riuven, The Wombats, Pete Wylie, Dave Stewart and the people of the city.

This live outdoor production also includes:

* A cast of 700, including 100 school children
* Age range of performers from 6 – 78
* 200 moving lights
* Four km of cable
* 600m of trussing
* Event personnel of 120 who have put in 15,000 man hours to create and build the show
* Choirs include: Sense of Sound, Formby High Midnight Voices, Sound Central Community Singers, Liverpool Philharmonic Gospel Choir, One Voice Community choir, 1 heart 1, ACCORD community gospel choir, Liverpool Welsh Choral
* 90 minutes of film, edited from 480 minutes of footage
* Running time: 100 minutes.

Both events have been co-directed by internationally acclaimed director Nigel Jamieson, whose pedigree includes the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games and closing ceremony for the Manchester Commonwealth Games; and Jayne Casey former lead singer of Big in Japan and co-founder of Liverpool superclub Cream.

Saturday night is also the opening event for the UK’s newest music venue, the state-of-the-art 10,600-capacity Echo Arena, which is set to be the most environmentally-friendly venue in the UK.