London Welcomes Back the Royal Festival Hall

June 3, 2007

After a two-year restoration, the Royal Festival Hall, part of the Southbank Centre arts complex in London, will officially reopen on June 11, 2007. The Royal Festival Hall is a venue for concerts, dance and talks situated on London's River Thames.

The £95 million renovation of the 2,788-seat auditorium, the first major one in the hall's 56-year history, increased its popular public spaces, added new bars, restaurants and educational facilities and sought to improve its poor acoustics.

The Southbank Centre will celebrate the reopening, with a festival called The Overture, from June 8 - 10. The free events will feature jazz and classical concerts, gospel music, and dance performances, as well as a candlelit barge carrying hundreds of singers down the Thames to start things off.

On Sunday, Paul Daniel will lead the Philharmonia Orchestra in a performance of the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with a choir of over 1,300. Additionally, a limited number of free tickets are available for the "Lucky Dip", four surprise concerts to be held inside the auditorium. You won’t know who will perform before the show starts, but it's your chance to discover something new or catch one of your favorite performers for free.

Visit the Southbank Centre website for more information and to get free tickets for the Lucky Dip performances.

See also: Performances of Opera in London

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