BBC backs off: Rule Britannia will NOT be cut off from BBC Proms after backlash | UK | News


Concert organizers have announced the Last Night of the Proms lineup ahead of the event on Saturday, September 12 at the Royal Albert Hall. A campaign to omit Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory from the concert has garnered widespread support on social media. Many supporters had said the lyrics of the songs were offensive and outdated and called for them to be banned from being performed in public.

In a statement, the BBC said: “In light of recent speculation on the Last Night of the Proms, today we are announcing the concert program.“We deeply regret the unjustified personal attacks on Dalia Stasevska, principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra on social media and elsewhere.

“As always, decisions about the Proms are made by the BBC, in consultation with all the artists involved.

“The Proms will reinvent the Last Night in this extraordinary year so that it respects the traditions and spirit of the event while adapting to very different circumstances right now.

“With greatly reduced musical forces and no live audience, the Proms will host a concert that will feature familiar and patriotic elements such as Jerusalem and the national anthem, and bring new moments capturing the vibe of this unique moment, including You will never walk. Alone, presenting a poignant and inclusive event for 2020. ”

The BBC said the program would include “new orchestral versions of Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 1 ‘Land of Hope and Glory” (arr. Anne Dudley) and Rule Britannia! As part of the Sea Songs, as Henry Wood did in 1905 ”. .

Dalia Stasevska from Finland is conducting Last Night this year, with soprano Golda Schultz and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

On Monday, an poll asked readers whether Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory should be removed from the BBC Proms program.

Ninety-six percent of respondents said no, while only four percent said yes.

Only 109 (less than 1%) said they did not know.

Between 8.45 am and 8.15 pm, a total of 19,790 readers took part in the survey.

The BBC’s confirmation comes after The Sunday Times reported that organizers feared a backlash because of the perceived association traditional hymns have with colonialism and slavery.

Downing Street has floundered in controversy and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he wrote to the BBC about it.

A spokesperson for Number 10 said the PM believes in tackling the “substance” and not the “symbols” of the problems.

He said: “This is a decision and a business for the organizers of the Proms and the BBC.

“But the Prime Minister has previously set out his position on similar issues and made it clear that if he understands the strong emotions involved in these discussions, we must tackle the substance of the issues, not the symbols. ”

Culture Secretary Dowden said “confident and forward-looking nations do not erase their history”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Rule Britannia! And Land of Hope and Glory are the highlights of the Last Night of the Proms.

“(I) share the concerns of many about their potential elimination and have raised this issue with (the) BBC.

“Confident nations looking to the future do not erase their history, they add to it.”


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