The Battle Proms: Cannons, Cavalry and Fireworks
Last year over 34,000 people attended a Battle Proms Picnic Concert:
summer celebrations with music, Spitfire, cannons, cavalry and fireworks, all set in the grounds of some of the UK’s most celebrated stately homes including Blenheim Palace, Churchill’s Birthplace, and Highclere Castle, much loved by many as ITV’s Downton Abbey.
The Battle Proms takes much of its historical inspiration from the Napoleonic wars, which came to a conclusion 200 years ago at the Battle of Waterloo when Napoleon’s rule as Emperor of the French was ended. Amongst the many Napoleonic elements to the concert, Battle Prommers will enjoy pyrotechnic displays with over 200 replica Napoleonic cannon and dramatic skill-at-arms displays by our daring cavalry team. There will even be a special battle re-enactment by the Napoleonic Association at the Blenheim Palace Battle Proms on Saturday 11 July 2015. And, of course, there is the Battle Proms signature piece, Beethoven’s Battle Symphony. Written to celebrate Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Vitoria, it is performed as Beethoven intended, with 193 live cannon providing a thunderous percussion!
The Battle Proms team are also planning to celebrate 75 years since the Battle of Britain and 70 years since the end of the Second World War with a number of additions to the programme. These will include The Battle of Britain Evening Gun Salute, honouring this pivotal air campaign and end of the war itself, as our gunners herald the arrival of the Grace Spitfire with a volley of shots from a vintage 13 Pounder field gun. Much loved TV presenter Pam Rhodes will be hosting the concerts the Rockabellas, today’s answer to The Andrews Sisters, will warm up the audience with an upbeat performance of unrivalled vintage vocals to keep your toes tapping as you picnic and get you into the party mood.
Conducted by Douglas Coombes and performed by the New English Concert Orchestra, the orchestral programme will include soul-stirring classical favourites suited to the grandeur of the historic setting, from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (which also gets the ‘Battle Proms treatment’ of live cannon fire) to a sing-along finale packed with all the prom favourites such as ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Rule Britannia’. Accompanying the orchestra will be our superb soprano Denise Leigh, who will perform enchanting arias before bringing the finale to life – and the crowd to their feet – as the spectacular firework display lights up the summer sky.
The Battle Proms Concert comes to Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, on Saturday 11 July 2015, and Highclere Castle, Berkshire on Saturday 1 August 2015. With so many key historical milestones to look back on this year, what better way to celebrate in 2015 than with the Battle Proms!
We have 3 pairs of tickets to give away to the concert, which this year will feature an exclusive addition to the programme: 150 re-enactors from the Napoleonic Association, fresh from the battlefields of Belgium, will participate in a skirmish as part of the Waterloo200 programme of events marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
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Closing date is 9 July.