London’s beloved concert hall, the Royal Albert Hall, is celebrating its 150th anniversary on Monday with a special anniversary show, as it aims to preserve its diverse artistic offerings.
The imposing historic building awaits a full house for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, inviting 5,000 spectators to attend unmasked.
Opened in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall has hosted the biggest names in classical, pop and rock music, including Wagner, Antonin Dvorak, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Lady Gaga, as well as sumo competitions and tournaments. tennis ATP.
“We are proud of the diversity of genres that we have. I would be disappointed if we were just a classical music venue, or just a rock and pop venue, ”CEO Craig Hassall told AFP.
# photo1 ″ If it’s boxing, it’ll be the best boxing in the world. The best orchestras on the planet perform here. We will always look for the best in all genres, ”he said.
The concert hall has also served as the backdrop for films such as ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ by Alfred Hitchcock and historic events such as Charles de Gaulle’s speech to French compatriots based in London resisting the Nazi Germany in World War II.
Inspired by the Colosseum in Rome, the eclectic nature of the building dates back to its founding purpose “to be a forum for the democratization of ideas and learning.” It was never designed to be elitist, ”Hassall said.
# photo2 Hairdressing contests, boxing matches and a spiritual session led by the wife of author Arthur Conan Doyle, who tried to bring the late writer back to life, feature in the ‘weird and wonderful’ past of the location.
Hassall said all events were designed to be cheap and accessible, with ticket prices for Monday’s concert starting at £ 9 ($ 12, 10 euros).
A premiere of a composition by composer David Arnold, who has produced soundtracks for films including the series “James Bond”, “Independence Day” and “Sherlock”, makes the front page of the show.
The Royal Albert Hall, which derives most of its revenue from the sale of tickets and drinks, has lost £ 60million due to closures induced by the pandemic.
But it will look to promote young artists as well as tell its past, with a partially unveiled program of celebrations expected to last until the end of 2023.
“It has been devastating to be closed for so long,” Hassall said.
“I hope that 150 years from now, regardless of the cutting edge technology in the world, we will never lose this live performance and the excitement of this human interaction. “
© 2021 AFP