Royal Albert Home is the historic London venue’s new streaming concert series.
Program continues after kickoff by Wainwright last week
The Royal Albert Hall is streaming a season of free shows on its website directly from artists’ living rooms.
The program will include performances by some artists whose Royal Albert Hall concerts were canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Confirmed acts include the Cosmic Shambles Network show “Sea Shambles,” scheduled for May 17.
Several artists with whom the Royal Albert Hall has worked also confirmed they will give a concert from their homes, including British singer-songwriter and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson, who headlined the Women and the Hall season, and tenor Alfie Boe, who has performed at the hall many times.
Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright kicked things off April 9, performing from his home near Los Angeles. Wainright reportedly performed for about 30 minutes and took some requests from the audience. He said when the show was announced that Royal Albert Hall was favorite U.K. venue in the UK and that his mother, Kate McGarrigle, performed her last concert there in 2009.
“Brassed Off Live,” special content linked to a showing of the 1996 film on TV channel Film4, was scheduled for Wednesday night, and Witter-Johnson is on deck for Thursday night.
More shows across all genres usually represented in the venue’s programming are to be added in the coming days and weeks.
The Royal Albert Home concert series will allow the venue’s artistic director, Lucy Noble, to give up-and-coming talent a platform but also present artists who wouldn’t normally make it onto a hall stage.
She told VenuesNow: “We hope that Royal Albert Home will extend the reach of the hall and allow us to bring more artists into the fold. Alongside ‘at home’ versions of shows which have had to be cancelled, and performers who have headlined the hall before, we’re also including artists who’ll be making their hall debut.
“When we’re operating normally, we have the Albert Sessions strand, which allows us to spotlight breakthrough acts and bring in young audiences. But there are acts who have more of a cult audience than that and are nevertheless too big for the [300-capacity] Elgar Room. In the past it’s meant that as much as we love their work, we haven’t been able to work with them. With Royal Albert Home, we can.”
The shows are free to stream, with an option to donate to the venue. The hall, which turns 150 next year, is closed for the first time since World War II. It receives no public funding, meaning that it has no regular income to support staff or the building.