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Saturday, 1 June, 2002, 21:32 GMT 22:32 UK
Classical stars celebrate jubilee
Jubilee concert
Guests were treated to a picnic hamper
Thousands of people have enjoyed the first of two concerts being held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

A host of respected classical artists kicked off the jubilee celebrations in the spectacular gardens on Saturday night for Prom at the Palace.

Ballet dancers Roberto Bolle and Zemida Yanovski
Prom at the Palace:
  • Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
  • Mstislav Rostropovich
  • Sir Thomas Allen
  • Roberto Alagna
  • Angela Gheorghiu
  • Roberto Bolle
  • Zenaida Yanowsky

    Full line-up

  • Pop stars and rock groups have also been preparing for a second concert, which will include chart-topping artists from across the Queen's reign, to be held on Monday.

    Among those that took to the stage to perform on Saturday night were Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Mstislav Rostopovich and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

    The gates to the palace opened to the 12,000 lucky ticket holders early to allow them to soak up the atmosphere and sunshine inside the gardens.

    Picnic hampers

    Visitors were treated to picnic hampers containing bottles of champagne with plastic flute glasses and smoked salmon wraps to help give them a day to remember.

    Both concerts are being broadcast live on BBC One and on worldwide TV broadcasts.

    Renowned cellist Mstislav Rostopovich performed Bachianas Brazilieras No 1 (prelude) by Heitor Villa Lobos in the palace's music room.

    Sir Paul McCartney
    Party at the Palace:
  • Sir Paul McCartney
  • Tom Jones
  • Will Young
  • Queen
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Sir Cliff Richard
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Ricky Martin
  • plus 18 more artists

    Full line-up

  • Husband-and-wife team Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu performed one number each, followed by a duet, before a rousing finalé by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

    The orchestra finished the concert with Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance before being joined by the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines and the BBC Symphony Chorus for the national anthem.

    Camilla Parker Bowles was invited to be one of the 125 guests in the royal box in what is being seen a gesture of friendship by the Queen.

    The pop concert on Monday will feature a line-up of artists who have sold more than 500 million albums worldwide between them.

    Brian May, from rock group Queen, will kick off the show by playing the national anthem from the palace roof.


    When surveying the view from the rooftop, he admitted that he was "terrified".

    "It's kind of dream-like, really," he said.

    "I've been thinking about it for a long time, because obviously it's been on the cards for a wile. But I'm thrilled."

    Brian May on Buckingham Palace roof
    Brian May will perform on the palace roof
    Another star, Phil Collins, has been rehearsing for two weeks to be part of a "house band" that will accompany a number of other artists.

    "There's loads of people that have become synonymous with rock music and pop music," he said.

    "It's a cross-section of the last 20 or 30 years, and it's very exciting to be a part of it."

    About two million people applied for tickets to the two concerts, which will be among the highlights of the Queen's Golden Jubilee weekend.

    National celebrations

    Other concerts will also be taking place across the UK.

    In Birmingham, a Blue Peter jubilee party will feature Pop Idol star Gareth Gates plus Sophie Ellis Bextor and S Club Juniors.

    A special Songs of Praise in the city will include performances from crooner Michael Bolton and Aled Jones.

    Three Edinburgh shows will feature former Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry plus classical, Celtic and world music.

    The BBC's Jennie Bond
    "It was a night to remember"
    Clarinetist Julian Bliss
    "I am just very very happy and excited to be here"
    Dame Kiri Ti Kanawa
    "It's a big occasion"

    Key stories



    Jubilee Celebrations

    50 years of pop

    See also:

    01 Jun 02 | Entertainment
    29 May 02 | Entertainment
    28 May 02 | Entertainment
    21 May 02 | Entertainment
    19 Mar 02 | Entertainment
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