The Orchestral Theatre

5th October 2015

Electrifying performance, intimacy, playfulness, collaboration and surprise: Southbank Centre’s newest Associate Orchestra launches The Orchestral Theatre, a concert series like no other.

The imposing Royal Festival Hall auditorium is transformed into an intimate performance space for the series, with a limited audience of 350 rubbing shoulders with performers on and around the stage. Combining virtuosic performance with eclectic programming and imaginative presentation, the concerts offer a kaleidoscopic adventure in the company of one of the world’s most creative orchestras.

Nicholas Collon conducts programmes which range across a rich variety of repertoire and artistic collaborations, bringing orchestral music to life for first-time concert-goers and lifelong devotees alike. The first two concerts in the series also showcase the memorised performance experience which thrilled audiences in Aurora’s recent appearances at the BBC Proms. This freedom from printed scores and music stands unlocks a new level of communication between players and with the audience.

Upcoming performances:

The Musical Memory Palace

Sunday 7 February 2016, 5.30pm
Royal Festival Hall

Mozart Symphony No. 40, K 550

Ed Cooke Grand Memory Master
Nicholas Collon conductor

Staged as part of Southbank Centre’s Altered Minds Festival, this concert invites audiences to take a journey in musical memory in the company of Ed Cooke, Grand Memory Master and founder of, who can memorise the order of a deck of cards in less than a minute. Cooke applies the playful, imaginative and often hilarious ‘memory palace’ techniques which he uses to improve memory retention to Mozart’s 40th symphony, illuminating the genius and drama of Mozart’s writing and inviting audience members to astonish themselves with the power of their own memories. Nicholas Collon and Aurora Orchestra provide scintillating musical illustration, culminating in a memorised performance of the complete symphony. In an age in which memory is increasingly externalised in an online cloud, this concert promises to rediscover the joys of memorisation, as well as offering a thrilling new way of engaging with symphonic music.

Dur: c. 80 mins, no interval

Tickets from just £15 here.

Touring performances:

The Apex Bury St Edmunds, Thursday 4 February 2016

St George’s Bristol, Friday 5 February 2016

Gulbenkian Canterbury, Saturday 6 February 2016

Playing with Fire

Sunday 29 May 2016, 5.30pm
Royal Festival Hall

Beethoven The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43
HK Grüber Frankenstein!! 
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

Marcus Farnsworth chansonnier
Nicholas Collon conductor

Aurora explores the pursuit of power – and its consequences – in a programme inspired by the figure of Prometheus, who dared to steal fire from the gods. Featuring soloist Marcus Farnsworth, this theatrical concert charts a course from the Greek myth which inspired Beethoven to the ‘modern Prometheus’ of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, whose shadow looms large over HK Grüber’s surreal masterpiece. At once ravishing, fearsome, hilarious and sharply satirical,Frankenstein!! offers a truly unique partner to Beethoven’s monumental fifth symphony.

Whose hand is that, knocking at the door…?

Tickets from just £15 here.