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Francesann  (Level: 55.5 - Posts: 124)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 1:08 PM


Every September, here in England (London to be exact) we have the final concert in a series of classical music promenade concerts. The finale is in the Albert Hall and ends with the singing of Rule Britannia, usually with the opera singer dressed up in patriotic colours! Followed sometimes by Land of Hope and Glory and always with Jerusalem. The audience wave flags and umbrellas and we all join in the singing at home.. Lately there have also been Proms in the Park at the same time that also finish with these songs and much more umbrella waving (rain is not the issue - it was fine last night). My question is - we are told that millions watch this rather strange spectacle around the world, Do you?

The concerts were started by Sir Henry Wood, who at the age of fourteen, played the organ at the 'Musicians' Church' St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, the largest parish church in the City of London, where his ashes now rest. This is where my husband and I were married 40 years ago last week.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 1:13 PM

I've never heard of it, maybe others have. Sounds nice though!

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 1:19 PM

Sounds lovely but I've never seen or heard of it. Sounds like a nice place for a wedding and a nicer place for a 40th wedding anniversary.

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 1:42 PM

Looked through the Listings to see if we had the Show
at some weird hour, because of the time difference....
Couldn't find any reference to it at all....
Are there vocals in that Show???
There was a programme called "The Sopranos"

Suzer22  (Level: 165.6 - Posts: 1982)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 1:52 PM

Never heard of it...but I'd love to watch the umbrella waving! How exactly does one wave an umbrella? Open or closed? And if you're in a large crowd, aren't you afraid of poking someone?

Francesann  (Level: 55.5 - Posts: 124)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 2:02 PM

It is the last night of a series of classical music concerts, there is everything form Beethoven, Wagner Mozart etc and also classical music written especially for the various concerts. They are on every day (or night) for eight weeks and they can be heard live on our BBC radio. Audiences at the concerts are quite huge, and the last night must be quite hard to buy tickets for. If you are outside in the parks on that night - Swansea, Glasgow, Belfast and London, you wave your umbrellas opened - don't ask me why!!! and they wave union jacks as well, last night in the Albert Hall (very well known venue for BIG events), there were even foreign flags being waved. However the music is taken very seriously. You would have to see it to believe what us stiff upper lipped English get up to!

Koota  (Level: 184.6 - Posts: 2114)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 3:11 PM

I love the umbrella waving idea!

We in the Pacific NW do not carry umbrellas because we are impervious to the rain. We can identify non-Oregonians by their umbrellas.

Koota  (Level: 184.6 - Posts: 2114)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 3:12 PM

And *Congratulations* on 40 years of marriage! WhooHOOOOO!

Dizzy  (Level: 180.7 - Posts: 296)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 4:35 PM

The thing is dying - so sad, I've watched it avidly for years -don't know why but a group of us gathered togethet today, yet another 40 year wedding anniversary (bless her - don't know how she has put up with me so long) we were all agreed it is not what it was in years gone past - the audience participation seems to have gone and the "promenaders" appear to have left, the wider audience seems to have killed what was a ritual September evening

Bbear  (Level: 164.4 - Posts: 2296)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 5:14 PM

Never heard of it. Americans have a couple of similar things. The Boston Pops July 4th celebration is full orchestra with lots of singing. In New Orleans we have what is known as a "second line" which is dancing while twirling fancy beaded umbrellas to jazz. All fun stuff.

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Sun, 14th Sep '08 5:19 PM

It is one of my life's dreams to be there for the Last Night. I have several recordings that collect the last night concerts and one DVD. It looks and sounds like a thrill. Sadly I have never known it to be televised here.

Surreyman  (Level: 266.9 - Posts: 2769)
Mon, 15th Sep '08 5:06 AM

Well, Dizzy, many people in our village cannot understand why she puts up with you either!

True, 'Last Night' ain't what it was, but is still required watching each year ... but I suspect it ain't a pastime for the rebel colonies ... don't think they'd join in with 'Rule Britannia' with any great enthusiasm!

One point I did notice this year. The guest tenor wore the obligatory silly costume, this time a jacket made from the flags of England, Wales etc. But he also included the Irish Republic tricolour - I don't think they'd be waving too many Union Flags either!!

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