Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall complete with red London buses and flag waving visitors.

At the suggestion of Prince Albert proceeds from the Great Exhibition of 1851 were used to purchase land in south Kensington. The intention was to create museums, libraries and a hall. In 1863 money to build the hall was raised by selling 999 year leaseholds on seats costing £100 each. This proved very popular and 1,300 were sold.

The building was designed by Captain Francis Fowke and Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Darracott. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone on 20 May 1867 and surprised everyone present when she decided to call it the Royal Albert Hall.

The hall holds 8,000 seats and had the reputation as the only auditorium were a musician could hear his music twice as the acoustics were so bad. This was finally resolved in 1968 when large saucers were hung from the ceiling. Many famous composers have performed in the Albert hall, such as Richard Wagner (1877) and since 1941 have held the annual Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts.

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