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The Royal Albert Hall in London will be 150 in 2021

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The Royal Albert Hall in London  has a capacity of over 2000 people. Initially, it could accommodate over 9,000 people, but modern security measures have prevented any overcrowding. 

In 2021 it turns 150 and pandemic or not, there are several big events in sight. Among the things not to miss we will have: Matthew Bourne, returns to the Royal Albert Hall to create a spectacular new staging of The Car Man, his acclaimed interpretation of Bizet’s opera, Carmen. (June 17-27) Shows by famous musicians such as Patti Smith, Jon Hopkins, Gregory Porter, Tinie, Brian Wilson, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel and Alfie Boe.

Nitin Sawhney, will curate Journeys – 150 Years of Immigration, a week-long festival that celebrates the life and contribution of immigrants over the past 150 years. The season will include a main show with a new piece by Sawhney: an oratorio for strings and choir. (29 September-6 October 2021).

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the orchestra associated with the Royal Albert Hall, will present a series of concerts that celebrate the concert hall’s important birthday and its own 75th anniversary.

For International Women’s Day, the hall will host the famous WOW – Women of the World Festival. This special show will also be streamed online (March 8, 2021)

Nile Rodgers will compose an anniversary anthem, featuring an entire orchestra and singers.

It was meant to be called the Central Hall of Arts and Sciences, but with the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, it was decided to dedicate it to him.

The idea for the Hall came from Prince Albert who had organized the Great Exhibition of 1851. He wanted to create a permanent temple for the sciences and the arts. The Royal Albert Hall was to be a part of what was nicknamed “Albertopolis” and which also includes the three great museums of South Kensington. #

His initial design was to include space for lectures and conferences, libraries and exhibition space and would be funded from the profits from the Great Exhibition. The prince died in 1861 before the project began.

After the Prince’s death, the project was approved and Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone in 1867 and the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington opened on March 29, 1871. When the scaffolding was removed, it was feared that the dome would not hold up, but as you can see still now everything was fine.

What no one had foreseen, however, was that the dome created an unpleasant echo and  until 1969 the music was heard twice. The echo was only discovered at the opening ceremony when the amen of the bishop of London for the blessing was clearly heard twice.

. It was said at the time that the price of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall was very affordable, since you had the opportunity to hear the music twice! In 1969 they placed the famous ‘mushrooms’ on the ceiling to improve the acoustics. Recently the room had a two million pound sonic refurbishment which transformed the sound.

The installation work was done at night and no concerts were canceled and everything was done practically in secret. It was a challenge given the number of cables and amplifiers to be placed in a building that was also protected. 

The structure of the building was inspired by the old amphitheaters. It is surrounded by a mosaic illustrating the triumphs of the arts and sciences. The organ built in 1871 was then the largest in the world. The Royal Albert Hall in Kensington was initially lit by gas lights, but in 1888 it had electric lights.

Since 1941 the Royal Albert Hall has hosted the orchestral part of The Proms every year which are eight weeks of classical and chamber music concerts. Chamber music concerts are held at Cadogan Hall.

Not everyone knows that the Proms were held at Queen’s Hall until May 10, 1941. But on that night for five hours, the Luftwaffe ferociously bombed London leaving 1,436 dead and 1,792 wounded. The House of Commons, the House of Lords, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, the Mint, the Mansion House, St James’s Palace and the Tower of London were all affected. The Queen’s Hall was completely destroyed. The Royal Albert Hall was the only concert hall in the capital not destroyed or damaged, this is how the Proms began.

While prominent classical musicians such as Wagner (as orchestra conductor during The Wagner Festival in 1877) or Rachmaninov have played at the Hall in the past, in recent years the Hall has hosted different types of shows. From a Eurovision competition final to ATP Champions Tour Masters tennis matches. Many of the great names of pop and rock music have played or sung here from Pink Floyd to Bob Dylan, from Janet Jackson to Kylie Minogue.

If you like anecdotes you should know that the Royal Albert Hall in London was the only place where The Beatles and The Rolling Stones played at the same concert.

In addition to concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington, charity events, choir concerts, award ceremonies, graduation ceremonies for Imperial College students and much more are also held. Royal dances were also held for the coronation of various monarchs and boxing tournaments.

Until 1985 those who worked at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington were volunteers and were not paid, they were given free tickets instead.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Entertainment

Who switches from Facebook to MeWe? Apparently many do…

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MeWe has been around for quite some time, since 2012 to be precise but lately it is the most downloaded app on iOs in the United States. Which means that many are trying it.

But what is MeWe? Practically a rival of Facebook but which unlike Facebook has no advertising, does not use algorithms and users have complete control of privacy and content.

The MeWe platform also includes many common features on Facebook, such as sharing content, chats, video calls and groups, so the company counts on its uniqueness to persuade users, but at the same time, without sacrificing features that users are used to.

There are optional features like the ability to have more additional space, unlimited calling, and custom themes that are paid for. The platform also has versions in different languages. 

Would you try in 2021?

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Music

The Wellerman Sea Shanty Tik Tok Mash Up 2021

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The singing postman 26 year old Nathan Evans from Ayreshire has gone viral on Tic Tok with the performance of sea shanties.  The  duet feature enables  his followers to join in the singing, with very pleasing effect.

Once you hear it you will be hooked! The very popular “The Wellerman” is especially heartening in these times when people are waiting for better times and good news.

 

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History

The Oldest Song in the World that can be played

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This is the oldest piece of music that can be reconstructed and therefore played is the Hurrian Hymn no 6. It was found in the Royal Place of Ugarit which is found in modern Syria but those days was in Canaan.  This piece of music is about 3400 years old. It was only discovered in the 1950s with other  five tablets containing instructions to play music but unfortunately the others were too ruined to be able to be deciphered. 

The song was meant to be played with a lyre, it also had lyrics but only some of them can be read. It appears to be a prayer to Nikal the Goddess of Orchards. It was written in the Hurian language. 

The instructions for another song were also found, this would be even older going back about 4000 years but there are only fragments and it’s impossible to play it. 

Watch  the Hurrian Hymn no 6

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