21 Impressive Royal Albert Hall Facts That Are Worth Knowing! | Kidadl


21 Impressive Royal Albert Hall Facts That Are Worth Knowing!

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The Royal Albert Hall, which was going to be called the Central Hall, was constructed to meet the creative vision of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.

It was built to promote and appreciate the work of the Sciences and Arts of artists to fulfill the intentions of Albert Prince consort. The Royal Albert Hall is a landmark historic building that is now a concert hall as well.

Originally, this hall was supposed to be built at the South Kensington Gore London estate with the funds of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851. But in the year 1861, when Prince Albert died, husband of Queen Victoria, because of typhoid fever, the plans of constructing the Royal Albert Hall were put on hold. Later, again the plans were rekindled by the collaborator of Prince Albert named Henry Cole. The design and architecture of this hall are highly inspired by the visit of Cole to the ruins of Roman Amphitheaters and were aimed to accommodate around 30,000 people. This number was later reduced to around 7000 because of a lack of financial aid. Today, the capacity is just around 5000 due to regulations of modern fire. The construction work of the Royal Albert Hall started in the year 1867, in the month of April and the hall was officially inaugurated on March 29, 1871, by Queen Victoria. The Central Hall was then renamed the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences to honor Prince Albert. Queen Victoria got so overwhelmed with the beauty of that hall that she couldn't even give a speech, and hence in place of her, the Prince of Wales had to notice the gathering. She said that the architecture reminds her of the British constitution. In Royal Albert Hall, certain areas of the Queen's gallery are open for the public. There is no specific dress code to be followed in general but may vary depending on the event that takes place.

The main auditorium of the hall is 185 ft (56.38 m) wide and 219 ft (66.75 m) long and the top is covered by a glass roof dome. The sheer scale of the enclosed space, along with the sound reflection from the glass ceiling above, caused a substantial echo that was only rectified in the late '60s with the addition of several acoustic saucers, also known as the Royal Albert Hall mushrooms. Six million red bricks were used to build the exterior of the hall along with 80 thousand blocks of terracotta. Queen Victoria herself laid the first stone of the Royal Albert Hall on the twentieth day. Apart from Albert Hall, other institutions like the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of arts and sciences are also dedicated to arts and science in Victorian London. The Royal Albert Hall has the second largest organ in the British isles, the first position of the Liverpool Cathedral. A private box of 12 seats can cost up to $3,961,180 ( £3,000,000).

Royal Albert Hall Geographic location

The Royal Albert Hall's address is South Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP.

While it may be difficult to imagine now, the Royal Albert Hall debuted with only 36 events per year. Well, it was 1871, and things were probably a little sluggish back then. However, the expansion of its event calendar has been just tremendous. It now holds approximately 400 events every year. That's more than ten times the number of shows. Congratulations, Albert. That's quite a leap!

The Royal Albert Hall, as one of London's earliest and most prominent performance venues, has long been a fixture of British entertainment. It will be commemorating its 150th birthday in 2021. And you can bet they'll be celebrating in grand style. In reality, the celebration will include a major excavation operation known as The Great Excavation. In a summary, a massive refurbishment project will be in the works.

Royal Albert Hall purpose

The Royal Albert Hall of arts and sciences has affectionately been titled the ‘Nation’s Village Hall’ for its rich history and glorious present. This hall promotes many events of arts and sciences and was made using the profits from the Great Exhibition. Many events of opera, classical music, and ballet were included later on. This hall also hosts the events of ballroom dancing, classical and rock concerts, banquets, poetry recitals, conferences, educational talks, ballet, motor shows, film screenings, opera, and circus events. Not only cultural, but it has also hosted a lot of sporting events like squash, basketball, table tennis matches, boxing, wrestling, sumo, and a lot more. This hall hosted boxing for the first time in the year 1918 when there was a tournament between the American and British servicemen.

Some of the regular events which the Royal Albert Hall holds are Royal Choral Society, tennis, Cirque du Soleil, Festival of Remembrance, English National Ballet, Teenage Cancer Trust, BBC Proms, Classical Spectacular, Brit Awards, Institute of Directors, The Salvation Army Awards, Graduation ceremonies, and movie premieres and orchestra performances.

After Prince Albert died, the construction on the Royal Albert Hall completely stopped.

Architects of Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall was designed by Henry Y.D. Scott and Francis Fowke, two civil engineers of the Royal Engineers. The hall was built by Lucas Brothers and inaugurated in the month of March by Queen Victoria. The original name of the Royal Albert Hall was the Central Hall. These designers were influenced by the amphitheaters of Ancient Rome. Hence, they designed the hall like an ellipse having a minor and major axis of 236 ft (72 m) and 272 ft (83 m). To construct the hall, Fareham red bricks have been used and feature an 800 ft (243.84 m) long mosaic frieze that encircles the structure. This frieze was made a 1 ft (30.48 cm) long using the mosaic tesserae slabs which depict ‘Triumph of the Arts and Sciences’ in 16 distinct allegorical groups.

The dome, which was made of wrought iron and glass has a height of 135 ft (41 m). Fairbairn Engineering Company of Manchester constructed the dome of the Royal Albert Hall. This engineering company even went for a trial assembly to make sure that the 372.58 ton (337,999.79 kg) iron metal frame would be able to support the 307.54 ton (279,000.13 kg)weight of glazing. The trial was satisfactory, thus the dome was dismantled and brought by horse and cart to London, where its iron girders were individually joined to the central elliptical ring of the roof. The dome dropped only 0.03 in (0.8 mm) when the props supporting it were kicked away, before settling into place on the supporting walls. After the complete construction of the hall, the problem of acoustics came forward. Because of the poor acoustics, there was a reverberation of 12 secs in a few parts of the hall. The first idea was to hang a canvas awning underneath the glass roof dome, but this wasn't enough to fix the problem. In the year 1949, the awning was removed, and instead of that fluted aluminum panels got installed under the glazed roof. Queen Victoria herself laid the first stone of the Royal Albert Hall.

The awning was removed in 1949 and fluted aluminum panels were installed below the glazed roof. The problem remained until 1969 when enormous fiberglass acoustic diffusing discs (sometimes referred to as mushrooms or 'flying saucers') were inserted. Following extensive acoustic testing in 2001, 50'mushrooms' was removed and the remaining 85 repositioned to provide a greater density there at the center of the ceiling and at the back of the stage, significantly improving the acoustics for the audience throughout the hall. The addition of mushrooms was so successful that the designers even decided to add them to the construction of the Sydney Opera House.

The Royal Albert Hall underwent a series of development and renovation between 1996 and 2004 to improve the ventilation of the auditorium, to add restaurants and bars, to improve the seating areas of the backstage also, to rebuild the circular seating in order to provide legroom and better sightlines. Each project was meant to be as discrete as feasible so as not to disturb the event schedule. A new south porch was also built, which houses a café, a below-ground loading dock, and a ground floor box office. Its beautiful tympanum was presented in 2003. It features a mosaic that represents musical sound bursting from the spherical central window. The Circle seating level was dubbed 'The Rausing Circle' to honor the Trust's charitable contribution.

Famous Shows And Concerts At The Royal Albert Hall

For more than 150 years, the Royal Albert Hall has been one of the most royal venues to showcase music in London. This majestic domed building has witnessed it all, from the classical music lessons to explosive rock concerts, throughout the course of its long and illustrious history. Here we have discussed some of the memorable music events held at the Royal Albert Hall.

The first-ever concert that took place in the Royal Albert Hall was in March 1871. The first event was supposed to have a grand opening but it was not a celebrated gathering. Moreover, the first concert was kind of a blunder because as soon as they began playing music, the entire hall started to produce echoes and created a big distraction. Many engineers tried to fix that but it was until the '60s when they found a reliable solution called the mushroom diffusers.

In 1912, the Titanic Band Memorial Concert took place after the sinking of the Titanic ship in the Atlantic Ocean. It was a memorial concert to remember all those 1500+ people who lost their lives. The concert was particularly focused on eight musicians who did not stop playing the music to calm the people until the end. They were termed as the ‘biggest professional orchestra ever assembled’.

The Great Pop Prom in the month of September 15, 1963, was the first time when the Beatles and Rolling Stone performed together. This was the time when none of these bands had achieved any stardom. The concert was praised by many and Paul McCartney even remarked that 'Up there with the Rolling Stones we were thinking: ‘This is it — London.' The Royal Albert Hall. We felt like gods'.

The concert of Pink Floyd in the year 1969 was a typical rock and pop concert which caused many problems to the hall. During the performance of one of their songs, they fashioned a table right on the stage using planks, saws, and hammers. After that, a gorilla-dressed man came out of nowhere into the auditorium. Lately, to finish the concert and have a lasting impact which they do have, they used two cannons to fire a pink bomb of smoke. All these activities were a lot for the hall and the audience also lost their calm. Pink Floyd got banned from further performing at that Royal Albert Hall, the hall banned the pop concerts.

Talking about the performance at the Royal Alert Hall, we certainly cannot forget to mention the performance of Adele in the month of September in 2011. That gig was so special that people had to record it whole. It was filmed for the DVD and also got broadcast on BBC. Adele was already a global star at the time when she performed at the Royal Albert Hall. Her album '21' was topping the charts at that time. That gig witnessed so many great moments. From the high-pitched perfect songs to the in-between interaction. The song 'Someone Like You' received so much love from the audience that the video of this performance is still popular today.

Written By
Nidhi Sahai

<p>Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.</p>

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