The spotlight is now turned on the Reflecting Pool. A school of Carp, formed by 450 performers, is swimming against the tide. When they leap over the Heaven's Gate, lightning strikes, depicted by fire performers w
alking across the Reflecting Pool.
This segment, called Playing with Fire, which is based on an ancient Chinese legend, shows that it takes determination, risk and courage to achieve one's ambitions.
The Dragon, which embodies courage, strength and wisdom, and symbolises a reward for turning danger and adversities into opportunities.
A young girl sits in the head of the Dragon, waving to the crowd as the music reaches a crescendo.
A school of carp transforms into a dragon, as pyrotechnics flare. PHOTO: SPH-SYOGOC/ALPHONSUS CHERN
The school of carp transforms into a dragon, as pyrotechnics flare its head and tail.
Now a video of youths from around the world share their views about sports and the inaugural YOG takes over the large LCD screens around the stage.
The Ring of Containers lights up, showing performers with LED-lined semaphore flags, flashing an distress signal which reads "S.O.S Urgent. For your immediate attention".
The World Youth Orchestra of the Singapore Games, made up of 105 musicians from five continents, enters the stage on trolleys.
Led by Darrell Ang, currently the young associate conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the musicians play across boundaries of race and religion, showing it
is possible for the world to come together to solve common problems.
The music for this segment is composed to give voice to different instruments from around the world, which include the Chinese flute, Australian didgeridoo, Indonesian gamelan, jazz trumpet, Africa kora, Middle Eastern oud and piano accordion.
Showing a world in crisis, a 3-D animation beams images of famine, natural disasters and war, highlighting the nature of these challenges, and how they can be overcome through concerted international effort; created by a team of young Singaporean animators.
Music continues in this segment, titled "Bud". Rain falls and a crystal lotus bud is brought to the stage.
The rain symbolises rejuvenation and fresh hopes; the lotus bud, which rise through water and mud to bloom, symbolises the spirit of hope and overcoming adversity, a parallel to what Singapore, a young nation with few resources, has come a long way in nation building through sheer imagination, grit and hardwork.
Performers in bud and floral costumes dance amid a Garden City in its full glory. The bud then opens to reveal a globe made from flowers, symbolising a brand new world.
The globe opens, with Marcus Lee from Ex-Dee, a seven-piece rock band, and Lian Kim Selby, 19, singing "A New Story", which was specially commissioned for the opening ceremony.
The "Bud" opens to reveal a globe made from flowers, symbolising a brand new world. PHOTO: SPH-SYOGOC/DESMOND WEE
Spectators are also treated to a water ballet on the Reflecting Pool. This is followed by a fashion show, with 100 models parading designs of wearable art, crafted from recycled materials, such as badminton rackets, shuttlecocks and foam wraps, by 80 fashion students from Lasalle College of the Arts.
Show-time is over. It's now the turn of the young Olympians as they take to the stage in a parade of flags from their countries.
An athlete from each National Olympic Committees, followed by a placard holder, walks through a "portal" in the centre of the stage and proudly presents his or her country's flag. The name of each NOC and the Youth Olympic Games-DNA are projected on the portal.
Home to the ancient Olympic Games, the Greece flag is first to enter. As the host nation, the Singapore flag will come last.
Led by Singapore's Tabitha Nauser, five young singers from five continents perform the theme song, "Everyone", which was written and produced by local record producer and composer Ken Lim to reflect the spirit of the young Olympians taking part in the Singapore YOG.
Singers include Jessica Mauboy from Australia - who rose to fame in 2006 as a contestant on Australian Idol, becoming the runner-up of that season.
They are joined by cultural dancers and eight aerial dancers who symbolise doves.
The official opening ceremony begins now.
Chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, Mr Ng Ser Miang, who is the first to speak, will thank President of the International Olympics Committee Jacques Rogge for entrusting the challenge of the inaugural games to Singapore and for his "vision and gift to the youth of the world".
Calling the opening ceremony a "historical moment" not just for Singapore but for the Olympic movement and young athletes around the world, he hopes the young Olympians will take part in activities and discussions on global and social issues as well as learn how they can make a positive impact in their community through the Culture and Education Programmes, besides competing in the Games.
"Most importantly, we hope that through these activities they will build strong and abiding bonds of friendship, and learn that the power of sports and the ideals of the Olympic values can help us build a more united and peaceful world," added Mr Ng.
He also thanked Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Government of Singapore for their "wholehearted support", and the over 20,000 who have volunteered to help directly in these Games, as well as the many thousands more who have given their support in various other ways.
IOC chief Rogge, speaking next, also thanked Singapore for its hospitality and staging a "remarkable" show. In particular, he hailed the volunteers, without whom "nothing would be possible," said Mr Rogge. "They are the real heroes of the games," he added.
President Nathan declares the YOG open.
Impressive fireworks punctuate his announcement.
The Olympic flag is carried on stage and handed over from eight Olympians - Tan Howe Liang (Weightlifting/Singapore), Yelena Isinbayeva (Pole Vault/ Europe), Yang Yang (Short Track Speed Skating/Asia), Tan Eng Liang (Waterpolo/Singapore), Frankie Frederiks (Athletics/Africa), Patricia Chan Li-Yi (Swimming/Singapore), Tao Li (Swimming/Singapore) and Sergey Nazarovych Bubka (Pole Vault/Europe) - to eight Singaporean young athletes.
The Olympic flag is raised as the Olympic Anthem is sung in Greek by a choir.
This is followed by the athletes, officials and coaches taking their oaths.
Caroline Chew, a member of Singapore's equestrian team, takes the oath for the athletes.
Syed Abdul Kadir, one of Singapore's greatest-ever boxers, does it for the officials, and David Lim, former national swimmer, now a coach and a swimming judge, takes the oath for the coaches.
The moment which everyone is waiting for.
Preceding the arrival of the Youth Olympic Flame, a video tracks the journey of the torch from Athens, Greece on July 23 to Singapore on Aug 5.
Meanwhile, gliding across the Marina Bay is a 27-metre Phoenix, which symbolises rebirth and new beginnings. The brightly lit Phoenix, perched on a vessel, is escorted by dragon boats, with drums beating.
Kompangs, Chinese drums and dhols greet its arrival at the stage of the floating platform, accompanied by 200 dragon boat rowers.
Six youth torch-bearers carry the Youth Olympic Flame to the Reflecting Pool, in a relay along a bridge, lined by multicultural performers waving pom-poms.
In a few moments, the athlete who will light the cauldron will be known: He is 16-year-old sailor Darren Choy.
Holding high the flame, he runs across the Reflective Pool, climbs a flight of steps up to the cauldron and lights it at 10.16 pm, sending the flame ablaze and leaping from the lighthouse .
Another spectacular display of fireworks brings the historical opening ceremony to a close.
Let the Games begin.