Proms row: Andrew Lloyd Webber Says Tim Rice Could “Fix Offensive Verse” in Rule, Britannia! | Ents & Arts News


Andrew Lloyd Webber says Rule, Britannia! will sound “ordinary” without words and proposed his longtime collaborator Sir Tim Rice to “fix” them.

Billionaire songwriter is last person to enter Proms Row, following announcement an orchestral version the hymn will be played at the Last Night Of The Proms this year.

Land Of Hope And Glory will also lose its lyrics at the Royal Albert Hall event, which will run without its audience of 6,000 due to coronavirus.

Both songs are favorites with Prom fans, who often wave flags and sing enthusiastically.

Normally watched by 6,000 people, this year there will be no audience at the Royal Albert Hall

Early reports had suggested that traditional songs were abandoned as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement, due to their perceived association with colonialism and slavery.

The outgoing BBC chief executive Lord Tony Hall later confirmed there had been discussions about removing the lyrics due to their association with British imperial history, but said the move was “creative “.

Andrew Lloyd Webber attends the Cats World Premiere
Andrew Lloyd Webber thinks lyricist Sir Tim Rice could help in the row

One of Rule’s most problematic lyrics, Britannia! is the line: “The British will never, ever, ever be slaves.” ”

In an open letter to The Times, Lord Lloyd-Webber wrote: “Sir, Rule, Britannia! Is one of those melodies that is made by a lyric.

“Played by an orchestra alone, the chorus will sound ordinary at best.

“There are some great British lyricists who could fix the offensive verse.”

“In this year of the 50th anniversary of Jesus Christ Superstar, the BBC should send for Tim Rice. “

Boris Johnson unhappy with suggestions that BBC could cut lyrics to Last Night Of The Proms songs

Boris Johnson calls for an end to “self-recrimination and dampness”

Breaking news, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory wouldn’t be played as usual sparked outrage from traditionalists.

Over 100 singers normally perform Rule, Britannia !, but social distancing measures would make that impossible this year.

The orchestra – which is normally made up of around 80 musicians – will also be considerably reduced, and the restrictions will likely only allow 15 musicians at a time.

The BBC says the two songs will be sung at Last Night of the Proms next year.

Asked about the controversy earlier this week, Boris Johnson told reporters: “If that’s correct… I think it’s time we stop our squeaky embarrassment about our history, traditions and culture, and we stop this general bout of self-recrimination and dampness. . ”

He admitted that he was advised against talking about it, but said, “I wanted to take this off my chest. “

South African soprano Golda Schultz to be part of the grand finale
South African soprano Golda Schultz to be part of the grand finale

The BBC said Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska, who will conduct the orchestra on the final night, has faced “unwarranted personal attacks” on social media following the backlash against the deletion of the words.

They said decisions about the event were made “in consultation with all of the artists involved”, and said that the reinvention of the evening was a way “of adapting to very different circumstances at this precise moment” .

A BBC spokesperson confirmed that: “With very reduced musical forces and no live audience, the Proms will stage 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 era, including You’ll Never Walk Alone, presenting a poignant and inclusive event for 2020. ”

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Live performances over the two-week concert include violinists Nicola Benedetti and Alina Ibragimova; the cellist who performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his pianist sister Isata Kanneh-Mason; and sitar player Anoushka Shankar with electronic artist Gold Panda.

South African soprano Golda Schultz will join the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the final night.

The Last Night of the Proms will take place on Saturday September 12th.


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