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OPINION


Sign up for your digital AM at www.audiomedia.com The Art of the Matter


year of trading in the venue’s history with 390 events driving a 7% increase in audiences. Te venue recorded its highest ever operating surplus of £5.3 million. Te Hall’s own promotions – which included performances of Carmen, Swan Lake, and live orchestral accompaniment to films including Fantasia and Singin’ in the Rain – generated £600,000 more in ticket sales than in 2012.


In The Round


Consulting editor Jim Evans catches up with goings on at the Royal Albert Hall and The Roundhouse, as well as keeping track of the BBC’s latest jaunts.


Who’s Who At The Royal Albert Hall


Te demise of the vinyl album and CD and the advent of the download scenario has been well chronicled. But there are elements that I and many others miss – notably album sleeve artwork and liner notes. We like to know where tracks were recorded and who was at the controls, and the artwork and photography are integral parts of the album package. Check out the work of Hipgnosis and the late Storm Torgerson, the wonderful Stiff Records sleeves of the 80s and the photography of Mick Rock. Let’s hear it then, for Sir Peter Blake, who designed the artwork for probably the best-known sleeve in history, the Beatles’ 1967 album, Sgt


16 June 2014


Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Te 81-year-old artist has unveiled a multi- panel artwork at the Royal Albert Hall, entitled Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall. Te mural, which is 10ft high, features more than 400 figures from the worlds of music, sport, science, and the arts who have appeared at the London venue from its opening in 1871 through to the present day. Te list of those included is diverse – where else would you see Albert Einstein and Victoria Beckham together? – and reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the past 143 years: Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Edward Elgar, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Fred Astaire, Dame Shirley Bassey, Johnny Cash, Jimmi Hendrix, and Tim Henman all feature. Te mural also celebrates some of the more unusual names to have graced this famous stage, including Lord Baden-Powell, Big Daddy, and a Dalek.


Speaking at the launch, Sir Peter said: “I was honoured when the Royal Albert Hall commissioned me to create this mural. Te project instantly captured my imagination – the ultimate opportunity to promote the arts in one of Britain’s greatest venues, combined with the challenging process of immortalising over 400 of the world’s most popular artists.” Catch it if you can.


Teenage Cancer Trust


Among those in Sir Peter’s montage is Te Who frontman Roger Daltrey who has won a major music industry prize for his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust. Te singer has organised the charity’s annual concerts at the RAH, booking artists like Arctic Monkeys, Tinie Tempah, and Paul Weller. Presenting the outstanding contribution prize at the Music Week Awards in April, Weller praised Daltrey’s “tireless, fantastic work” for a “very worthwhile charity”. Daltrey, who is a patron of the trust, used his speech to thank the musicians and comedians who had taken part in his fundraising shows. “I didn’t do this, I just got the idea,” he said. “Te music business, the comedy industry, you’re the ones that have made it happen. Keep it going, we do great work. We lead the world in music, and now we lead the world in the way teenagers are treated with cancer.”


Royal Record


Still in South Kensington, it’s looking good on the financial front. Te Royal Albert Hall enjoyed a bumper year in 2013, posting record audience numbers of 1.71 million and operating income of £18.6 million, up 10.4% on the previous year. Te figures represent the most successful


Technical Theatre Awards


Te Technical Teatre Awards, which celebrates the outstanding achievements of people working behind the scenes, has launched its 2014 ‘bigger, better, brighter’ event with a call for sponsors and nominations. Te TTAs debuted at PLASA 2013 at London’s ExCeL to credit the often unsung heroes working backstage to make theatre magic happen.


“Te idea of the TTA awards is to highlight the work and effort of the people behind the scenes who are so often overlooked,” says TTA co-creator Ian Taylor. Te Technical Teatre Awards ceremony will be on Monday, 6 October.


Travel News


Te BBC Gravy Train steamed into Copenhagen for the Eurovision Song Contest jamboree with a full passenger list of presenters, producers, and hangers-on in the buffet car – plus news of a vacancy in the driver’s cab. Sir Christopher Patten has stood down for health reasons as chairman of the BBC Trust. We wish him a speedy recovery, but let’s hope his successor has the bottle to tackle the culture of mega-pay deals, jobs for the boys, and excessive staffing. Mind Te Doors! 


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Across London, Te Roundhouse has announced a new summer arts festival, which will include a first performance of Imogen Heap’s album Sparks. Te festival will also include a world premiere of the score from Oscar- winning film Tere Will Be Blood by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood who will play alongside the London Contemporary Orchestra. Sinéad O’Connor will also perform for the Roundhouse Summer Sessions, running from 24 July to 24 August.


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