The long and lazy days of summer have arrived in London and with them comes a list of new events across the city. Our 2013 London calendar picks a few of the highlights of the Season, from the annual musical Proms, a major event for music lovers of all stripes, to the Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition, a highlight of the artistic calendar, there’s plenty of August events in London to pick and choose from. Consider stopping by these events whilst using the Chesterfield Mayfair as your base: its central location means getting around the city will be a breeze.
Until 7th September
A full eight weeks of concerts (that’s over 70 performances) will kick off at the Albert Hall this summer. A London tradition since 1895, the Proms (promenade concerts) have long been the season’s unmissable event for music lovers of all kinds. This year, expect performances of works by Rachmaninov and Britten as well as Wagner’s Ring Cycle, which will be performed in its entirety over the course of the Proms’ eight weeks. The season culminates in the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ a jingoistic, flag-waving event that takes place in the Royal Albert Hall (and via big screen in Hyde Park) where the nation sings along to triumphal British tunes.
Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition
Until 18th August
The storied Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, now celebrating its 245th anniversary, returns again this year for another show of compelling works old and new. Over 1,000 pieces will be displayed, ranging from paintings and prints to sculptures and photography. This year’s exhibition will also focus on portraiture, and will feature works from artists like Frank Auberbach and Michael Craig-Martin RA. 90% of the works are for sale, the proceeds of which fund the Schools at the Royal Academy.
Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House
Until 15th August
Tchaikovsky’s eternal fairytale lives on in a new production at the Royal Opera House. The ballet tells the tragic story of Odette, a princess who is turned into a swan following a sorcerer’s curse. Her only hope to transform back into a human is if she finds eternal love – but can she do so in time? The new production of the classic work will be performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, which should be a rare treat for London audiences.
Buckingham Palace Summer Opening
Until 29th September
This year’s summer opening of Buckingham Palace is sure to have a wide appeal. A rare look into one of the world’s only royally inhabited palaces, the opening gives guests the chance to explore its ornate treasures and sumptuously decorated rooms. As an additional draw, the Palace will also be showing the Queen’s Coronation 1953 Exhibition in honour of the 60th anniversary of the event, the largest-ever exhibition focusing on the Coronation.
Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum
Until 29th September
A new, in-depth exhibition at the British Museum explores the history of Pompeii and Herculaneum, two cities that were obliterated by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. The show does an excellent job of situating visitors in the context of daily life in the Roman towns, using recovered artefacts to tell the story. It’s a stunning and heartbreaking exhibition, and plaster casts of the eruption’s victims are incredibly moving to see in person.
Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure
Until 8th September
Beloved Dutch artist Vermeer is the focus of a new show at the National Gallery that is set apart by its multidisciplinary approach. An exploration of the Netherlands of Vermeer’s time, the exhibition will include live musical performances by the Academy of Ancient Music that incorporate 17th century instruments and compositions. The evocative effect helps Vermeer’s works truly come alive for contemporary audiences.