Royal Albert Hall to host unique VE Day performance
Thursday, 7 May 2020
ve-dayCurrently closed for the first time since the Blitz, the Royal Albert Hall will host the unique VE Day performance on Friday 8th May
UK - For the first time in its 150-year history, the Royal Albert Hall will play host to a special concert behind closed doors. For the event, which will mark the VE Day 75th anniversary on Bank Holiday, Friday 8 May, international Mezzo Soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE will perform on the Royal Albert Hall stage to an empty auditorium. The half-hour concert will be streamed to audiences around the world via YouTube at 6pm BST and is the first performance of the #RoyalAlbertHome series to come from the Hall itself. It follows on from the singer’s successful at home lockdown concerts which have amassed over 2 million streams to-date.
This unique concert is made possible by funding from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as part of #LondonTogether, and will be introduced with a video message from the Mayor. #LondonTogether invites Londoners to highlight great examples of positive community action and gives much deserved appreciation for the work of our health and care staff, emergency services, key workers and volunteers.
The event is in support of the Royal Albert Hall’s fundraising appeal and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity’s Emergency Response Fund.
Katherine Jenkins comments: “In London on VE Day 1945, over a million people celebrated Victory in Europe and the end of nearly six years of war. Crowds gathered en masse in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace and whilst we may not be able to celebrate this year as we once did, it’s only right that we don’t allow the 75th anniversary of this historic day to be overshadowed. Having been part of the 60th and 70th events, I wanted to do something to help bring the nation and the world together in commemoration and celebration at this difficult time." 
She continues: “I’m excited that we can still come together, albeit virtually, for a tribute of wartime songs and musical memories from London’s most iconic concert venue. The Royal Albert Hall will be seen like never before – empty, isolated and yet still breathtakingly magnificent!”
In this, her 46th appearance at the Hall, Jenkins will sing wartime favourites including The White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again; the latter performed as a virtual duet with Dame Vera Lynn. The timeless song, featuring the lyrics, ‘I know we’ll meet again some sunny day’, epitomised the emotions of the war and brought people hope and a sense of togetherness. Today, they ring true for families around the world separated from loved ones at this time of crisis. The performance will close with a rendition of Jerusalem, one of Britain’s best-loved hymns.
Lucy Noble, artistic director of the Royal Albert Hall comments: “We’re delighted to announce this very special behind-closed-doors performance from Katherine Jenkins as part of the Royal Albert Home series. With these shows, we wanted to do something to keep the venue’s spirit alive, to give audiences something to cheer, inspire or just distract them during this difficult time, and to encourage donations that will help us keep afloat. The Hall has been a place of celebration and commemoration for almost 150 years, and while it's impossible for us to welcome audiences on this 75th anniversary of VE Day, we hope that this concert will bring people together as the nation reflects on one of its defining days. We’d like to thank everyone who has made this unique event possible.”
The concert will give the nation a moment to pay tribute to the fallen men and women of the Second World War and salute the country’s VE Day Veterans, many of whom are experiencing uncertainty and isolation. It is also our opportunity to thank the Armed Forces who, alongside the NHS and many others, are coming together to serve the country.
Watch the performance at 6pm, Friday 8 May at: www.royalalberthall.com/ve75.
The Royal Albert Hall is currently closed for the first time since the Blitz and has no regular income to support staff or its Grade I-listed building. The venue is asking viewers to consider making a donation online or via text to donate by texting ALBERT to 70490 to donate £5. For more information go to www.royalalberthall.com/supportus

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