I’m currently involved in an exciting project called The Battle of the Somme – taking a newly commissioned soundtrack of the seminal 1916 film by composer Laura Rossi on a mini-tour of four amateur orchestras across England (showing the film with live music for the first time since the premiere at the QEH in 2006). The tour will visit Leicester and Devizes in November, before two London concerts in early 2012.
Smiling awkwardly at the new-fangled cameras, troops move towards the Front in the Great War. Their actions are far removed from the swagger and march of war films, but then this is real… The Battle of the Somme remains one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release, and the film is the source of many of that First World War’s most iconic images.
Laura Rossi’s new score was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in 2006 to mark the 90th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme as a soundtrack for the digitally restored film, and premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. This tour will present the film and live music together for the first time since 2006, in performances from Leicester to London.
The aim now is to get bums on seats – especially with the first concert on 12 November taking place in the Leicester De Montfort Hall,which holds an audience of 2000! And to gain further funding and sponsorship as the tour enters 2012…