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The 2012 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony was held on 29 August 2012, starting at 20:30 BST and marking the official opening of the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, England. The show – named ''Enlightenment'' – had Jenny Sealey and Bradley Hemmings as its artistic directors,〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Paralympics Opening Ceremony )〕 leading a team that included Jon Bausor as set designer and Moritz Junge as costume designer.〔http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Documents/General/01/42/41/37/ParalympicOpeningCeremonymediaguideEnglish_Neutral.pdf〕 Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Games. The ceremony was performed in the Olympic stadium in London in front of a capacity audience of 80,000 people.
Students from local schools who are part of the get set network were part of the under-16 cast. These include Millfields Community School in Hackney, Eastlea Community School in Newham and Trinity School in Barking and Dagenham. A total of 110 days of rehearsals took place in Dagenham. The ceremony had an adult volunteer cast of over 3,000 people, along with over 100 children and over 100 professional performers.〔 Among the professional performers were 73 deaf and disabled performers and among the volunteers were 68 people with disabilities. In the build-up to the opening ceremony, an eight-week circus skills training programme took place at The Circus Space in Hoxton, London and was run by 50 specialist performers. Participants included professional artists and many people who were new to the arts scene, for example soldiers undergoing rehabilitation and non-competing disabled athletes. The programme was funded by Arts Council England,〔 and was part of the ''Enlightenment'' section, performing on a 35 metre high platform above the stadium floor.
Stephen Daldry commenting on the ceremonies of London 2012, noted that "if Danny Boyle's was very much about two revolutions and popular culture and Kim Gavin's was very much about a symphony of British music, then what you will get from Jenny and Bradley is something very different."〔 Daldry inaddtion stated that "there will be an extraordinary number of disabled performers in the cast."〔 Sealey introduced Stephen Hawking as the "most famous disabled person alive" who will narrate "the most exquisite journey," focusing on science and culture of the 18th century. As with the Olympics opening ceremony ''The Tempest'' features heavily and the character Miranda from the story will star in the ceremony, being the eyes for the audience. Sealey notes that the character "sees everybody but she doesn't judge. That is fundamental to our personal and political ethos." Adding that it is "fundamental, you look without judging. It's about removing those attitudinal barriers."〔 Sealey states that it was pure coincidence that she and Hemmings had chosen a line from the same play that was used by Boyle in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. "When we found out Danny Boyle was going to reference Shakespeare's ''The Tempest'' we burst out laughing." Hemming when comparing the Games to the Large Hadron Collider, notes that it "transforms our perception of our place in the universe in the same way that the Paralympics transforms our perception of what's possible."〔 While Sebastien Coe said that the Ceremony would be a "great showcase of the skills and excellence of disabled artists."〔
Sealey and Hemming were determined to "pay tribute to the contributions that science has made to the able bodied and impaired alike." The pair approached Hawking in late 2011, who was adamant that he would write his own part. Hawking commented on his role that "to use this stage to show the world that regardless of differences between individuals, there is something that everyone is good at, is very important." Sealey and Hemming worked closely with Professor Hawking to develop a series of messages for the ceremony and spent time with him in Cambridge; which Hemming notes he had been "incredibly gratified with him giving his time." Sealey notes that although the ceremony has Hawking and Ian McKellen narrating, "what we all need to remember: don't just look down at your feet, look at the stars, be curious."〔
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