Coronation of King Charles: Monarch turns to ‘Cats’ composer Andrew Lloyd Webber for key coronation score

Coronation of King Charles: Monarch turns to ‘Cats’ composer Andrew Lloyd Webber for key coronation score

London (CNN) Britain’s King Charles III has enlisted the help of famed British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to write the signature anthem for his upcoming coronation.

Charles’ coronation will take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London, and will see Camilla, Queen Consort crowned alongside her husband.

The King has personally selected the musical program for the service, which will see “a range of musical styles and performers blend tradition, heritage and ceremony with new musical voices of today”, according to Buckingham Palace.

Twelve new pieces of music have been prepared for the occasion – including six works for orchestra, five pieces for choir and an organ commission – by several world-renowned composers whose styles include classical, sacred, cinema, television and musical theatre.

Renowned composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose hit musicals ‘Cats’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ have performed around the world, said he was “incredibly honoured” to be involved.

“My hymn includes words slightly adapted from Psalm 98. I composed it for Westminster Abbey Choir and Organ, Ceremonial Brass and Orchestra,” Lloyd Webber said. “I hope my anthem reflects this joyful occasion.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber greets Charles at the 2022 Prince’s Trust Awards in London.

A Coronation March was written by Patrick Doyle, an award-winning Scottish composer best known for his work on films like ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’, ‘Gosford Park’ and ‘Carlito’s Way’.

One of the King’s most sentimental inclusions is his choice to have Greek Orthodox music played during the service, performed by the Byzantine Singing Ensemble, in tribute to his father, the late Prince Philip, who died two years ago. years.

Meanwhile, musical themes from Commonwealth countries will feature in Iain Farrington’s new solo organ commission. Other new works were created by Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley J. Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams and Debbie Wiseman.

A hand-picked gospel choir – the Ascension Choir – is also due to perform as part of the service, in addition to the Westminster Abbey Choir and Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal Choir, at the St James’s Palace. They will be joined by female singers from the Chapel Choir of Methodist College Belfast and the Truro Cathedral Choir. The traditional “Vivat” cheers will be proclaimed by the King’s Scholars of Westminster School.

Andrew Nethsingha, organist and master of choristers at Westminster Abbey, said all coronation services are a blend of “deeply rooted tradition and contemporary innovation” and praised Britain’s new monarch for “choosing good musicians and accessible and communicative music for this great occasion. .”

Westminster Abbey in London has been the site of all coronations since 1066. Since William the Conqueror, all but two monarchs have been crowned there.

The ceremony will also include historical music performed in coronation services over the past four centuries by such figures as William Byrd, George Frideric Handel, Edward Elgar, Henry Walford Davies, William Walton, Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera House and Conductor of the Coronation Orchestra, said: “Her Majesty has chosen a most beautiful and varied program which I believe will enhance the splendor of this very special.”

Buckingham Palace previously revealed the coronation would be “a solemn church service, and occasion for celebration and pageantry”, led by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The three-day weekend in early May is expected to include grand processions through central London, a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle in addition to celebrations across the country. Britons have been given an extra public holiday and members of the public are invited to join ‘The Big Help Out’ by volunteering in their communities.

“Everyone is welcome to participate, any day,” Michelle Donelan, Britain’s Culture Secretary, said in a statement. “Whether it’s throwing a special street party, watching the coronation ceremony or a spectacular concert on TV, or stepping forward during The Big Help Out to help causes that matter to them.”

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