Sir Peter Blake unveils mural masterpiece at the Royal Albert Hall
29 April, 2014
PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT: Sir Peter Blake - the 'Godfather of British Pop Art' – was joined by entertainment greats Roger Daltrey, Noel Gallagher and Michael Palin as he unveiled his latest work of art at the Royal Albert Hall today. The mural, entitled Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall, is a montage of more than 400 stars who have performed at the iconic venue from its opening in 1871 to the present day.
Best known for designing the iconic cover of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sir Peter Blake's mural was commissioned to celebrate the Hall’s unrivalled history, and features everyone from music legends Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix to pivotal figures in the arts and sciences such as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and J. K. Rowling.
Many of those featured in the artwork attended Tuesday's launch at the Hall, with Roger Daltrey, Noel Gallagher and Michael Palin joined by the likes of Sir Michael Parkinson, Bill Wyman, Brian May and Bill Bailey. The mural also celebrates some of the more unusual names to have graced the world’s most famous stage, including Lord Baden-Powell, Big Daddy and a Dalek.
The 10ft artwork illustrates the Hall’s commitment to inspiring a wide range of generations, from One Direction fans through to classical music aficionados. Situated next to the Café Bar in the venue’s Zvi and Ofra Meitar Porch and Foyer, it is available for all to see, and reflects Prince Albert's vision of a 'Central Hall' promoting understanding and appreciation of the arts and sciences.
Sir Peter Blake, said: “I was honoured when the Royal Albert Hall commissioned me to create this mural. The 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.”
Jasper Hope, Chief Operating Officer at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “It has been a privilege and a delight to work with Sir Peter Blake in creating this spectacular work of art: a unique celebration of the world’s most famous stage by one of the world’s great artists.
“This magnificent mural brings to life the vibrancy and dynamism of the venue, which has welcomed so many iconic performers, from musicians, comedians and actors to leading statesmen, sportsmen and authors.”
Dame Vera Lynn, who is among those celebrated in the artwork, spoke of her connection with the venue and her excitement about being featured. She said: “I always looked forward to performing here, because although it is a very large space I felt very comfortable, and that I was in touch with the audience. I feel very proud to be included in the mural in this world-renowned building.”
Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director and Lead Principal Dancer of English National Ballet, who also appears in the picture, said: “I feel very honoured to be featured in the mural. The Royal Albert Hall is a wonderful venue which I have had the pleasure to perform at many times and I am very much looking forward to going back there this summer with English National Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet in-the-round.”
Well-known as a performance venue for the world’s most popular artists, the Royal Albert Hall – a financially independent charity that operates without any government or local revenue funding – has also today revealed a record performance in 2013 with its highest ever operating income of £18.6 million, a rise of 10.4% on the previous year. Such funds allowed work to start on over £9 million worth of investment to replace inefficient steam heating with modern systems to heat and cool the venue and have also helped to enhance and maintain the Grade I listed Victorian building for future generations.
For further information about Sir Peter Blake’s mural or the annual report, please contact:
Rick Burin, Press Executive, Royal Albert Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7959 0531
NOTES TO EDITORS
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Its breathtaking auditorium hosts over 370 shows a year by the world’s greatest artists. The magical atmosphere combined with inspired artists creates legendary events.
Opened in 1871 as part of Prince Albert’s vision for a centre for the Arts and Sciences, the Hall is a registered charity which operates without public funding, remaining true to his founding ambitions within a modern context. Extending the brand with 200 events outside the auditorium, the Hall has broadened its appeal to younger, diverse audiences whilst still engaging its existing customers.
The Hall also offers the Elgar Room, a state-of-the-art small-scale performance space which hosts performances of classical music, jazz and world music, comedy, dance and hush, a series of gigs for just signed bands throughout the year. In the main auditorium, it offers the Albert Sessions, an initiative that encourages up and coming acts to play at the Hall by offering reduced rental fees to promoters and lower ticket prices to encourage younger audiences to visit the Hall. It also works extensively with schools, young people, disadvantaged groups and partners such as Music For Youth through its Education programme, reaching over 100,000 participants each year as part of its extensive public benefit remit. The Hall is also a Strategic and Creative Partner for the Tri-borough Music Service, recognised as one of the country’s music education hubs appointed by the Arts Council.
For more information, please visit www.royalalberthall.com
Registered charity number: 254543