Battle to avoid wasting Rule, Britannia at Last Night of the Proms wins key help | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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The continued singing of Rule, Britannia! on the Last Night of the Proms has gained cross-party help.

The patriotic track is the spotlight of the Proms for a lot of music-lovers but it surely has turn out to be a spotlight of controversy in recent times.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer gave her wholehearted help to Thomas Arne’s composition remaining on the coronary heart of the Royal Albert Hall live performance.

She advised the Sunday Express: “I’m proud of my country. Rule, Britannia! has been a fixture of Last Night of the Proms for many years and long may it continue.

“We should be championing our traditions and shared culture, not trying to whitewash or erase them.”
Shadow Culture Secretary Thangham Debbonaire additionally gave her backing, saying: “Of course it’s acceptable.”

There was dismay in 2020 when plans to carry out the track with out lyrics had been introduced. The choice was reversed days later however the work continues to set off sturdy opinions.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason earlier this yr prompt Rule, Britannia! may very well be changed with British folks music.

The musician, who was a soloist ultimately yr’s Last Night of the Proms, mentioned that “maybe some people don’t realise how uncomfortable a song like that can make a lot of people feel”.

The composition, which will be traced again to the mid-18th century, options the road “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”.

In 2020, then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson boasted of how Conservatives “aren’t embarrassed about songs about how Britannia rules the waves,” including: “In fact, we are making sense of it with a Conservative national shipbuilding strategy.”

That yr former BBC chairman Lord Grade mentioned the choice to carry out the track with out lyrics was “idiotic” and “a ghastly mistake which shows how out of touch they are with their audience”.

The organisers of this yr’s Last Night of the Proms on September 14 promise “an end-of-season party like no other”. Stars embody Grammy Award-winning American soprano Angel Blue and pianist Sir Stephen Hough, with Finland’s Sakari Oramo conducting.

This yr’s Proms season could stir controversy with its departures from conventional classical music.

On July 20 the “sound of disco” might be celebrated on an evening that includes the music of Chic, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross, Boney M and Walter Murphy.

The music of people rock icon Nick Drake might be carried out on July 24 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Singer-songwriter Sam Smith will be a part of the BBC Concert Orchestra on August 2 for a “retrospective look” at his debut album, In the Lonely Hour.

There might be a Dr Who-themed Prom on August 26, and on September 11 singer Florence Welch will be a part of Jules Buckley and his Orchestra for a celebration of her debut album, Lungs.

A BBC spokesman mentioned: “This year’s Last Night of the Proms soloist, soprano Angel Blue, will be singing Rule Britannia with chorus joining in the refrains. This is the same format as 2023.”