Classical music
Contemporary Classical

Smoke and Mirrors

Part of Associate Orchestras

Awaken the spirits of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in a theatrical concert of ghost stories and orchestral music.

In this upcoming Orchestral Theatre production, Aurora Orchestra explores these two evocative 19th-century masterpieces that continue to haunt us today.

‘Perhaps a corpse would be re-animated?’ (Mary Shelley)

The first half of the production transports you to 1816, the so-called ‘year without a summer’, in which Shelley conjured the monster that would take hold of the world’s collective imagination. HK Gruber’s zany, hilarious, and mesmerising Frankenstein!! gives a unique perspective on this great literary icon, leading you through an unsettling collection of surreal stories with a range of curious instruments, from swanee whistles to paper bags to a toy merry-go-round.

‘This work evokes terror, fright, horror and pain, and awakens endless longing’ (ETA Hoffman, review of Beethoven’s Fifth)

Opening with perhaps the most recognisable four notes in classical music (interpreted by some as fate knocking on the door), Beethoven’s mighty Fifth Symphony stirred extreme emotions in audiences of its day, with accounts of listeners shouting and trembling in their seats. As the myth around Beethoven grew following his death, it was this symphony, above all others, that represented the supernatural power of his music. Aurora performs this epoch-making work afresh entirely from memory, and invite you to come and experience why it’s still groundbreaking, expressive, and relevant 200 years later.

Part of The Orchestral Theatre: The Claus Moser Series at Southbank Centre.

Splendid beyond measure – this work evokes terror, fright, horror and pain, and awakens endless longing
Marvellous... Playing from memory, Aurora created an organic sense of community, dynamism and inspiration.


Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Collon conductor
Marcus Farnsworth chansonnier


HK Gruber: Frankenstein!!
Beethoven: Symphony No.5 (performed from memory)

Dates & times

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Queen Elizabeth Hall


£10 - £40
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£10, £25, £35, £40


25% off (limited availability)
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Event information
Please note that haze and dramatic lighting and sound effects are used during this performance.