The ceremony is a RPM production, directed by Hansel Cereza and accompanied by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arthur Post. It again proves the Catalan capitals ability to organise events of this size. The show was conceived from the perspective of water as part of our natural universe. It reflects the ability of these athletes to be in total harmony with their environment.
The protagonists of the ceremony were a boy and elderly man who, through an imaginary world, take the audience to a time when water and natural riches were the source of life. The role of the elderly person, who represents experience and wisdom, was interpreted by Eduard Admetlla, ninety year old scuba diver and pioneer in submarine exploration in Catalunya and Spain. The child shared the star role with twin girls: Julia (in the Port) and Paula (in Palau Sant Jordi) Gilabert, two promising stars in the diving discipline who train at the CAR in Sant Cugat.
Around 230 people, including actors, acrobats, divers, synchronized swimmers and volunteers performed a fantasy which aims to raise awareness on the importance of water for life on our planet. The show was performed simultaneously at the Palau Sant Jordi and Port Vell. The public at the former was able to follow what was happening at the latter on giant screens.
Among references to drought, a splendid natural past and an encouraging future there was also the emergence of a 'human tower'. It rose from from the swimming pool of the Palau Sant Jordi , an act with which Hansel Cereza, who was also director of the successful opening ceremony of Barcelona 92, wanted to bring the union of two worlds onto the stage.
The parade of delegations saw the passing of the 181 flags of the participating countries. This was followed by the speeches by the dignitaries present: the Catalan president, Artur Mas; the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias; the FINA President, Julio C. Maglione and Spanish Swimming Federation President, Fernando Carpena. Swimmer Érika Villaécija and referee Sergi Borrell were also involved in the ceremony, taking the oath on behalf of athletes and judges.
The ceremony, which lasted an hour, ended with an impressive firework display in the Port Vell, the venue which will host the open water swimming events next week, and the high diving competition the week after.