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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Southbank Centre: Queen Elizabeth HallBelvedere Road, London, Greater London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
Dates/times in London time zone
Wednesday 05 October 202219:00

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's wild epic poem is (re)mixed with music by Henry Purcell to create an immersive journey through calm seas, auspicious gales and supernatural elements. 

Travel and the idea of leaving of home left a deep impression on the British mindset in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Purcell imagined distant worlds – timeless and brave, new and old – in his operas The Fairy QueenKing ArthurThe Tempest and Dido and Aeneas. In this programme Purcell’s music is curated by our musicians to provide a dramatic counterpoint to a reading of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by actor Rory Kinnear.

The promise of adventure on the high seas as a symbol for spiritual discovery is found throughout literature of the Enlightenment. Think CandideGulliver’s Travels and the emergence of the travelogue. It reached a peak around the time of Captain James Cook’s expeditions to Australia and Antarctica, and with the publication of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ in 1798. There’s a reminder too that there were was often a dark side and consequences for those caught up in these expeditions.

Tickets: £5 - £82

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