Actors Charlotte Ritchie and Karl Queensborough join Aurora Orchestra at BBC Proms

30 June 2023

A woman and a man sit at a table smiling, in front of a pink wall

Ritchie and Queensborough join Aurora Orchestra for The Rite by Heart, Saturday 2 September at 3pm and 7.30pm at the Royal Albert Hall, and live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds.

Aurora Orchestra returns to the Proms for its boldest challenge to date:
a specially conceived performance of The Rite of Spring, which harnesses the full potential
of an orchestra performing without sheet music to present a revelatory new take on
Stravinsky’s masterpiece.

Charlotte Ritchie (You, Ghosts, Fresh Meat) and Karl Queensborough (Hamilton in the West
End) join the orchestra for a dramatisation of the origins of the piece, reliving the scenes of
its creation and its notorious concert premiere. The performance will utilise movement,
design, lighting, and newly commissioned projections, before Aurora perform The Rite of
from memory.

Charlotte Ritchie said: ‘Aurora Orchestra is brilliant, it’s so innovative, its ability to educate
and include the audience, as well as presenting them with beautiful music, is quite a special
thing. I’ve never done anything like this before and I feel quite honoured to be a part of it.
The Rite of Spring is an unbelievable piece of music, and it’s a very rare pleasure as an
actor to be on stage with this many musicians.’

Karl Queensborough said: ‘I’m super excited to join Aurora’s Rite of Spring. I’m not used to
being with the orchestra from the beginning; to be with the musicians from day one, really
dissecting the music and finding out how it all comes together is so exciting. And then there’s
the actual performance: to be guided through the creation of the piece and then to hear it
played from beginning to end is a totally unique experience. I’m a massive fan of influencing
younger generations, generations that wouldn’t necessarily listen to classical music, and
getting them interested in such a unique way as Rite of Spring will is very important for
broadening their imaginations and getting them engaged with classical music.’

As with all Proms, it will be broadcast live on Radio 3 and will be available on BBC Sounds.
Nicholas Collon, Principal Conductor, Aurora Orchestra said: ‘I’m so delighted that two
fabulous actors, Charlotte Ritchie and Karl Queensborough, will be joining Aurora for our
‘Rite of Spring’ performances at the BBC Proms. The whole event will be devoted solely to
Stravinsky’s great masterpiece, comprising a first half presentation which delves into the
work itself, and a second half memorised performance of the piece. Using the words of those
present at its creation (Stravinsky, Marie Rambert, Vaslav Nijinsky, Nicolas Roerich and
others) we will plunge into the genesis of the ballet as well as shedding light on some of the
musical elements that make the Rite such a vital and endlessly shocking work of art. We’re
so pleased to be bringing our eighth memorised Proms performance to the audiences in the
Hall and live on BBC Radio 3.’

Ritchie and Queensborough also join Aurora Orchestra for The Rite of Spring at Helsinki Music Centre (29 Aug) and Saffron Hall (31 Aug).