- 05 May 21
The famed London venue will re-open from May 29th with a series of socially-distanced events before returning to a full house from July 6th.
The Royal Albert Hall will celebrate its 150th anniversary and begin hosting full-capacity concerts again this summer, with performance by James Blunt, Bryn Terfel and Darcey Bussell.
Blunt's sixth studio album Once Upon A Mind, was released in 2019 and reinforced his reputation for writing emotional and relatable songs, while his classic 2004 debut album Back To Bedlam was recently named as one of the top ten best-selling albums of the decade.
Acclaimed composer David Arnold will present a new piece to celebrate the Hall’s anniversary, featuring both young musicians and world-famous names. Arnold is also known for his work on Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice's acclaimed 2002 debut album O. The composer - and Rice's second cousin - was impressed upon hearing Rice's songs and sent his demo to music publishers to no success. Arnold later worked with Rice to set up recording equipment for a home studio to make the album independently.
Reopening from May 29th with a series of socially-distanced events, July 6th will see a full house return.
The hall, which was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871 and named in memory of her husband, has been mainly closed since March 2020, refunding more than £7.5 million of ticket sales after three 1,000-capacity events in December.
“This has been the toughest period in the Hall’s 150-year history – and not how we ever imagined marking this remarkable milestone," Craig Hassall, Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, said in a statement.
"But we are so excited about getting back to doing what we do best, and can’t wait to welcome audiences to the Hall to help us celebrate this anniversary in style.”
May 29th will see a family concert, Albert’s Band: Back with a Bang, followed by the Messiah with the Royal Choral Society the following day, 'A Country Night in Nashville' on June 1st, and the British Ballet Charity Gala on June 3rd - hosted by Darcey Bussell.
Under government guidelines, 1,000 tickets will be available for each of the concerts, 20 per cent of the Hall’s usual capacity.
Full capacity events are then scheduled to resume on Tuesday, July 6th with James Blunt, followed by Carmina Burana on July 7th, Fauré’s Requiem from Scratch on July 11th and a Films in Concert presentation of Superman on July 16th.
The Hall’s much-anticipated birthday show on Monday, July 19th, will feature composer David Arnold’s 'A Circle of Sound'.
Other events in July include headline shows from Miloš on July 17th, Bryn Terfel on July 23rd as part of the Love Classical festival, The Best of the West End on July 21st and the Strongman event on July 14th.
The BBC Proms kicks off on July 30th, running until September 11th with further programme and booking details being announced on May 27th.
The hall hope to welcome live audiences back to the Proms, in line with government guidelines.
Handel’s Messiah will return this year, featuring 119 members of the choir socially-distanced on stage, accompanied by Richard Pearce on the Hall’s famous organ.
The in-person events will be supported by streamed performances, after the Hall’s Royal Albert Home shows in 2020 reached an audience of over 1.5 million people.
Later in May, the Hall will stream a programme of performances from around the building as part of the Global Stages festival; a collaboration with Sydney Opera House, Shanghai Concert Hall, Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam, and the LA Philharmonic.
For more information on events and tickets, visit the Royal Albert Hall's website here.