Article – Highlights & Guide to the 2010 BBC Summer Proms

Another summer, another series of BBC Proms to attend! While there is no end to exciting events, festivals, parks to explore, and al fresco dining to do in London during the few short summer months, one of the big highlights every year is the BBC Summer Proms, taking place this year from July to September.

Held in the grand Royal Albert Hall (RAH), you might be tempted to ask yourself why one should spend time indoors during the summer when you could be out having BBQs in the park or enjoying the great outdoors. Indeed, the Royal Albert Hall isn’t very well ventilated either, with the throngs of concertgoers every year facing sweltering conditions inside and finding a second use for their concert programme booklets and guides. However, the BBC Proms is the biggest highlight in the music calendar in London, and even if you are not into the more classical and traditional forms of music it would be a shame to not attend at least one of the world quality concerts and take part in the annual promming ritual!

Top highlights this year

Every year, there is a star-studded cast of celebrity musicians from around the world who perform at the BBC Proms, with these performances being some of the hottest tickets of the year in London. Placido Domingo, a world renowned Spanish tenor, was expected to perform in London just a few months ago at the Royal Opera House, but pulled out at the last minute to undergo surgery for colon cancer. He has made a roaring recovery, and is set to be one of the big highlights of the BBC Proms. He will be headlining Verdi’s opera “Simon Boccanegra”.

Jamie Cullum will be performing his songs on the piano at the BBC Proms as well, and Stephen Fry will make an appearance when he introduces a complete performance of “The Mastersingers of Nuremberg” by Wagner.

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Matt Smith, the lead actor in the Docor Who series, will be making an appearance as part of a special Doctor Who Prom night.

Two Last Night of the Proms Performances!

The opening prom will be on the 16th July, with the first night being given over to Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand”. The last night will be on the 11th September, with the traditional Last Night of the Proms held outdoors in nearby Hyde Park, just a stone’s throw away from Royal Albert Hall. However, this year for the first time since 1910 there will be two Last Nights, with the traditional one being held on the real last night (11th September), and the other one a re-creation of the Last Night of the Proms in 1910. The traditional one will include the staples such as Rule Britannia, Jerusalem, and Land of Hope and Glory, with star performers Renee Fleming, an American Soprano, and Jonathan Dove, a British composer.

The other Last Night of the Proms, a recreation of the 1910 version, will be a free concert to the public, and will have Wagner’s Flying Dutchman overture, and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 4. But you did hear it right; it will be a free entry concert, which doesn’t come around very often.

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