Monaco Revue   
Monaco International Fireworks 2008

To be honest, we were rather pessimistic about Austria's chances of impressing, two days after the opening of the Beijing Olympics. After all, who could get out of their minds the 30,000 fireworks China set off to signal to the entire planet that they remain masters of pyrotechnics, which they invented centuries ago.

But Austria aimed high, figuratively and literally, and in the end, the "wows" and "bravos" and blasts of horns from the boats in Monaco's harbour indicated it was a mission accomplished.

Not forgetting to dazzle in the lower and mid regions, Austria propelled their rockets way up into the dark sky, so high that even spectators at the top of the hill overlooking the harbour (Mount Charles in English; Monte Carlo in Italian) had to look up, instead of straight ahead as was mostly the case with the displays of England and Poland.

The forced attitude of awe was fully rewarded. Here was a display so compelling it drew you into the magic of the moment and whatever spectacle came before no longer mattered. The Austrians got so much right, choosing up-tempo classical favourites such as Bizet's "Les Toréadors" that almost everyone could relate to, and artfully coordinating the fireworks with each beat to create a ballet of lights.

In offering a limited palette of colours and in sometimes setting off only one blast at a time so you could focus on its birth and expiration, the Austrians showed the cliché "less is more" to be true. And in the final seconds of their performance, they showed the opposite to also be valid, as they held back nothing and set the sky aflame with thousands of flickering lights. All this with very little smoke to obscure the show.

We would give them a 9.5, although we can't really justify withholding the extra 0.5. We dare say this competition is pretty much over...unless the Danes can prove us wrong on August 22.


Comments to date: 4. Page 1 of 1.

scanner127,  Monaco

Posted at 11:01am on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

FYI, nobody ever says "Mount Charles". It's always called Monte Carlo.

Sherry Swain,  London

Posted at 4:03am on Thursday, August 21st, 2008

They faked the little girl singing too. Why should the world be surprised when China is the biggest maker of counterfeit goods.

Ann Chan,  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Posted at 3:12am on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

The previous comment about China is unfair. It was only a few seconds in the fireworks display that was computer generated for tv audiences. This was 28 of the 29 footprints. The last one they saw was real. The others were in fact fired off in Bejing and could be seen by spectators there, but for th... read more »

Dawn Perry,  TO, Canada

Posted at 11:06am on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Chinese mastery of fireworks? Didn't you guys hear they faked it?


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