“One of the most breathtaking Proms in history” – The Rite by Heart at the BBC Proms.

19 September 2023

We’ve been overwhelmed by all your messages following our Rite of Spring tour, which culminated in two BBC Proms performances earlier this month. And whilst it’s the audience reactions that mean most to us, it was gratifying too to see a unanimous slew of 5-star reviews for the production in the press, including The Times‘ reviewer Richard Morrison describing it as ‘one of the most breath-taking Proms in history’. This is a reflection on the Herculean efforts of our artistic and production teams, including particularly the Aurora players, our fabulous actors Charlotte Ritchie and Karl Queensborough, Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, and of course our Creative Director Jane Mitchell, who has been thinking about this project for the best part of a decade!

For those who couldn’t attend in person or want to hear the concert again, it’s only available on BBC Sounds until Fri 22 Sep, so get listening! For the many of you who have asked about when you can watch it on TV – although the London shows weren’t broadcast by the BBC this year, we did film our touring performance at the Helsinki Festival in collaboration with the Finnish broadcaster YLE, and plan to bring this to UK viewers in the coming months. Watch this space!

***** To memorise that, and to inhabit this violent music so thoroughly that the music seemed to flash like electric shocks from the very bones and sinews of the players, was simply one of the boldest and most breathtaking achievements I have witnessed in the Albert Hall… Stravinsky and Diaghilev, the ultimate iconoclasts, would have loved it.”

(The Times)

***** “In a Proms season overflowing with virtuosity Aurora Orchestra and their by-heart Rite of Spring wins out for risk and technical agility… Everyone was on their feet at the end a standing ovation for a standing orchestra in a performance that was in every respect unforgettable.”

(The Observer)

***** “the Aurora Orchestra – performing from memory – delivered a high-energy Rite that saw the music pulse across the concert hall”


***** “It was incredible to watch them perform without any music stands in front of them, completely giving themselves over to the music and trusting in Collon’s conducting”

(Broadway World)

***** “There was undoubtedly a frisson in the hall as we were held in the grip of the players’ own intense concentration. And in a curious way, something of the excitement in the air at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées that night in 1913 seemed to be recreated in the Albert Hall on Saturday. The audacity of it all, the adrenalin pumping through players and audience alike, made it a great Proms event.”

(Evening Standard)

There is much hand-wringing and many column inches expended on the future of classical music. If this is one of the forward directions, that future is in very good hands.”

(Lark Reviews)

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Images © Andy Paradise/BBC Proms