Battle Proms Picnic Concert
4 August 2012
4:30pm - 10:30pm
Food, Drink, Friends
Music, Spectacle, Ambience
Discover a unique experience at the 2012 Battle Proms open air concerts:
4.30pm Gates Open
Before the entertainment begins, take a little time to unpack the hampers and champers and take in the sights and sounds. Win a prize at the traditional fairground stalls, visit the Napoleonic re-enactors at their encampment, and get in the party spirit as warm-up act The Rockabellas take to the stage!
6.45pm Napoleonic Cavalry and Infantry displays
There’s a thundering of hooves as the mounted cavalry invite you to discover the colour and chivalry of the Napoleonic era, demonstrating battlefield skill-at-arms with lances, rifles and superb horsemanship.
7.25pm Diamond Jubilee Gun Salute
The gunners of the English Field Artillery Company herald the commencement of the evening’s musical programme with a volley of shots from an authentic vintage field gun in honour of the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
7.30pm-10.00pm The Musical Programme
In true Battle Proms style, the evening continues with a wealth of soul-stirring favourites performed by the New English Concert Orchestra, including Massenet's Meditation from Thais. Classic follows classic in a programme of powerful orchestral music carefully selected to uplift and inspire.
It’s the perfect opening to a spectacular classical open air concert, and there’s never a dry eye in the house as the historic and unmistakeable sound of the Spitfire engine rumbles overhead. This meticulously choreographed aerial display accompanies the concert’s opening piece.
Let battle commence! The ground shakes for Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with live cannon fire – especially poignant in 2012 as we mark 200 years since Napoleon's famous retreat from Moscow, which inspired its composition. This serves as a pyrotechnical warm up to the celebratory piece of music that gives the Battle Proms its name: Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory, more commonly known as the ‘Battle Symphony’, performed with 193 cannons, musket fire and fireworks.
The Battle Proms is the only regular open air concert in the world to perform this piece in full using live cannon with real black powder explosions, each fired electronically by the orchestra’s percussionist following the original score. This is classical music with unrivalled dramatic impact; an unforgettable spectacle that must be seen (and heard!) to be believed.
Click here to watch a video clip of Beethoven’s ‘Battle Symphony’ being performed at the Battle Proms Concert.
The perfect summer evening closes with the traditional sing-along, flag-waving proms finale, including favourites Jerusalem, Rule Britannia, God Save the Queen and Land of Hope and Glory, culminating in a dazzling firework spectacular
Widely regarded as the most exciting summer proms concert in the country, the Battle Proms is an event that fans return to year after year. Pack up a picnic, stock up on fizz and join the party; whether you’re planning a romantic evening as a couple, a celebration as a group, or want to enjoy an informal concert as a family then this could be the unique experience you have been looking for.
The estate directly in front of Highclere Castle itself is the perfect location for an evening of music and displays, with views across the Castle, the parkland and the beautiful Hampshire countryside.
Enjoy a summer's evening of entertainment with orchestral music, singing, cavalry, and of course the choreographed Spitfire display, culminating in an explosive finale with a dazzling fireworks display
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