Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Releases

BBC Proms celebrates 75 years of MGM film musicals

With songs from The Wizard Of Oz, Meet Me in St Louis, Singin' In The Rain and many other iconic musicals, BBC Proms celebrates 75 years of the great Hollywood MGM film studios on Saturday 1 August.

Film music specialist John Wilson, who has painstakingly reconstructed the scores after the originals were destroyed, conducts a starry line-up of singers in what is guaranteed to be a night of show-stopping film classics, broadcast live on BBC Two, BBC HD and BBC Radio 3.

Leading classical, jazz and musical theatre singers join the John Wilson Orchestra, including Sir Thomas Allen, Sarah Fox, seasoned Broadway star Kim Criswell, plus BBC Radio 2's Jazz Artist of the Year (2007) Curtis Stigers.

Emmy Award-winning Family Guy creator and singer Seth MacFarlane also features in the programme and the elite Maida Vale Singers complete the line-up.

Audiences can expect to hear songs such as Over The Rainbow, I Got Rhythm and Well Did You Evah in a programme that truly celebrates this legendary period.

The great Hollywood film studios Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) began producing musicals 75 years ago, leading to a golden age of musicals on the big screen.

In 1969 many of the film scores from these movie classics were destroyed by MGM but, remarkably, Wilson has succeeded in reconstructing the scores by painstakingly transcribing each score by ear.

"The attitude of the time," explains Wilson, "was that they'd served their purpose. Nobody realised that this music might later be seen as great popular art of the 20th century."

Audiences are also invited to enjoy the free Proms Plus afternoon activities on offer.

The classic 1952 musical Singin' In The Rain, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, is showing at the Royal Geographical Society at 2.00pm.

Later in the afternoon, BBC Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny hosts the Proms Intro session at the Royal College of Music, exploring the world of these legendary MGM musicals with Variety's David Benedict and writer Patrick O'Connor.

John Wilson has established an enviable reputation as a conductor, arranger and scholar and is recognised internationally as an expert in the specialist fields of light music and music for screen.

The John Wilson Orchestra is an all-star big-band whic has performed throughout the UK and Europe. They have appeared on ITV1's Parkinson and were recently invited to perform for HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

Event information: 1 August 2009

Singin' In The Rain - Film Screening
Proms Plus, 2.00pm
Royal Geographical Society

Proms Intro – Exploring the world of MGM musicals
Proms Plus, 5.45pm
Royal College of Music

A Celebration of Classic MGM Film Musicals
BBC Proms, 7.30-9.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
Tickets £7 - £35

Ticketing information

Available in person from the Royal Albert Hall box office (no booking fee) from 9.00am to 9.00pm daily, or via telephone 0845 401 5040 and online at (booking fee applies).

Up to 1,400 Promming (standing) places available on the day at £5 each.

BBC Proms Publicity

To top

Press releases by date:

Press release by:

RSS feeds:

Related BBC links

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.