For the English, the word “Prom” has nothing to do with awkward high school dances; rather it’s an amazing two moth long concerts series at the majestic Royal Albert Hall, a tradition since 1895. This Saturday tickets go on sale for the BBC Proms.
Shows start on July 18 and finish on September 13 with the overall theme a melodic tribute to the 100th anniversary of the outbreak World War 1. Highlights are a special War Horse Prom featuring life-size puppets from the hit West End show, plus some surprising headliners including Rufus Wainwright, Paloma Faith and Pet Shop Boys, and not to mention full orchestras coming from around the globe— China, Greece, Iceland, Lapland, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea and Turkey—to name a few.
With different shows each day, sometimes several, there are concerts for everyone. Try to score tickets to the first ever BBC “Sport Prom” combining classical favorites, TV themes and sports personalities (July 20th), or there are family Proms based on characters from BBC “Cbeebies” (July 26th & 27th), or for jazz fans a tribute to the golden age of jazz with a re-creation of Count Basie and Duke Ellington’s Battle of the Bands (August 8th). Another celebration in 2014 is the 150th anniversary of composer Richard Strauss' birth, which is marked by the performance of three of his complete operas and a number of choral concerts.
The hottest tickets will likely be the Late Night Proms featuring Brit soul sensation Laura Mvula (August 19th), sultry singer Paloma Faith (September 5th), versatile performer Rufus Wainwright (September 11th) and Pet Shop Boys performing a brand-new work, A Man from the Future, honoring the life and work of wartime code-breaker Alan Turing (July 23rd).
Top shows will sell out this weekend, but for those that are not successful there is also the great English tradition of "Promming" where for 5 GBP up to 1,400 people are granted standing tickets in the orchestra section on the day of the show. And for those that can’t make it to London, all concerts will be available to listen for seven days after broadcast at www.bbc.co.uk/proms.