Via virtual press conference, Royal Albert Hall has announced plans for 2021, its 150th Anniversary year. Next year had long been planned to include a wide range of events in celebration of such a momentous occasion… then 2020 happened. The RAH has now been closed to the public for nine months. At the height of the pandemic 80% of its staff were furloughed – many still are – and like many others, it has suffered from significant lost revenue and seen their reserves significantly hit.
Today’s press conference has brought much needed light in the darkness. Tomorrow (4 December) the RAH will once more re-open its doors to the public for Tours and Story Time With Father Christmas, as well as a limited Christmas Season beginning on 9 December (some of which will also be streamed). While the Box Office remains closed for in-person visits, the Cafe and Shop at door 12 will be open. This much loved building is finally coming back to life.
So, what are the anniversary plans? They kick off on 29 March 2021 with a special birthday concert featuring performers from both stage and screen. It will also see the premiere of David Arnold’s year long collaboration with children and community groups to create a 10 movement work, A Circle of Sound, a multi-media spectacular evoking the spirit and history of the Hall. Between 17 to 27 June Matthew Bourne and New Adventures will make their Royal Albert Hall debut, performing a restaged The Car Man. In the autumn (29 September–6 October 2021) Nitin Sawhney will curate Journeys – 150 Years of Immigration, a week-long festival celebrating the lives and contributions of immigrants over the last 150 years’, which will see Sawhney premiere a specially-commissioned oratorio for strings and choir.
Let’s not forget that it will also be the 150th Anniversary of the magnificent Henry Willis Organ and to celebrate, Oscar-winning composer, Michael Giacchino will compose a piece as part of a special concert showcasing the organ.
These are just a few moments in a huge celebration that will extend into 2022, with many more events yet to be announced. If you would like to read more you can access the full press release here:
There is even a chance for you to get involved. Have you got a special memory of the Royal Albert Hall? As part of the celebrations they are collecting stories of what the building means to the world, and you can share yours here: https://www.royalalberthall.com/rah150/ or use #RAH150 to tag your stories on Instagram and Twitter.
Stay turned to www.royalalberthall.com for updates and new event announcements – looks like its going to be quite the celebration.