RPO Journeys of Discovery: Ecstasy
Romeo and Juliet. Tristan and Isolde. This concert from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates music as the supreme language of longing and ecstasy.
The orchestra is joined by pianist Javier Perianes for this concert, where the works operate at the edges of our experience: where fantasy meets myth, the soul escapes its earthly bounds, and where the passion of young love consumes all before it.
Prokofiev and Wagner give new life to the tales of star-crossed lovers, whether Romeo and Juliet or Tristan and Isolde.
Sriabin then takes Wagner’s theme of transfiguration to the point of full orchestral explosion in The Poem of Ecstasy. ‘Like a bath of ice, cocaine and rainbows’ was how Henry Miller described it.
Ravel offers a moment to step back from the emotional fray with his piano concerto, capturing the innocent excitement and wonder of a child. The simple allure of the music covers its sophistication.
In the case of the slow movement, where time seems to stop, the exquisite balancing of parts brought the composer ‘to the edge of despair’. He persevered, and the result was perfection.
To capture such ecstatic states requires a special gift. Few composers can stretch a languorous melody over endlessly twisting chords like Wagner or Prokofiev, suspend time like Ravel, or summon up a trippy universe like Scriabin.
‘His demeanour and technique… radiate calm, yet the precision and speed of his fingerwork can be quite shattering. Seldom, if ever, have I encountered such a combination of evident modesty and utter brilliance.’
- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Vasily Petrenko conductor
- Javier Perianes piano
- Prokofiev: Montagues and Capulets; The young Juliet; Romeo at Juliet's Tomb (Juliet's funeral); The death of Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet
- Ravel: Piano Concerto in G
- Wagner: Prelude & Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
- Scriabin: Le poème de l'extase, Op.54 (Symphony No.4)
Need to know
For ages 7+
Dates & times
- Standard entry£10 – £50*
* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.
** Limited availability. Read about concessions.
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Classical Music: Spring/Summer 2023
As part of our classical music multi-buy offer, book multiple Spring/Summer 2023 concerts in the same transaction to receive a discount:
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- 5 – 7 events: 15% discount
- 8 – 10 events: 20% discount
- 11 – 14 events: 25% discount
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Discounts apply to selected events, February – June 2023 inclusive. Offer can't be combined with the Autumn/Winter 2022/23 multi-buy.
Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is open to all for access to the Level 2 foyers and toilets, Level 1 and Changing Places toilets, the National Poetry Library, Skylon, Riverside Terrace Cafe, Southbank Centre Shop and Members' Lounge at the following times:
*The Royal Festival Hall is open Mon & Tue, 10am – 6pm**; Wed – Sun, 10am – 11pm.
**On event days, the Royal Festival Hall building remains open until the end of the event.
Our address is: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. The nearest tube and train stations within 5 – 7 minutes walk are Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines) and Embankment (District & Circle lines). There are also lots of bus routes with stops 2– 5 minutes from our venues. For more information on getting here by road, rail or river, see below.
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Toilets, including accessible toilets, are open on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall.
There's a cloakroom in the Blue Side Foyer, Level 4, Royal Festival Hall. It’s £1 per item, card only. The cloakroom opens about an hour before ticketed events, and closes around 15 minutes after the performance ends. It can be accessed via Lifts 4 & 5, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall.
Any sized item can be left in our cloakroom, including fold-away bicycles. We don’t accept non-folding bicycles. Items must be collected on the same day they are stored. From time to time, the cloakroom may not be available. You won’t be able to bring any bags over 40 x 25 x 25cm into the auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall or the Queen Elizabeth Hall, or into the Hayward Gallery, so please leave large bags at home.
Items are left in our cloakrooms at the owner’s risk, and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage, from any cause, to these items.
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Booking wheelchair positions
When booking a wheelchair position in the Royal Festival Hall for large motorised wheelchairs (more than 65cm wide), please book in the rear stalls or side stalls. Boxes aren't able to accommodate larger wheelchairs due to limited space. If you have any queries, please contact [email protected] or call 020 3879 9555.
Entering the hall
For level access to the Royal Festival Hall from the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road, please use the Southbank Centre Square Doors. The JCB Glass Lift is situated at this entrance and will take you to all floors. All floors are accessible from the main foyer on Level 2. If you need further assistance, our Visitor Assistants are here to help you.
You can also use the external lift near the Artists' Entrance on Southbank Centre Square to reach Mandela Walk, Level 2.
We welcome wheelchair users and guide companion dogs.
Blue Badge holders and those with access requirements can be dropped off on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road (the road between the Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery).
There are four Blue Badge parking spaces available for visitors located on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and are free to use. You must display your Blue Badge as you enter the site. Vehicles that do not display a Blue Badge are refused entry.
Blue Badge parking at National Theatre
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can be found at the National Theatre car park (330 metres). If you are visiting the Hayward Gallery, just take your badge and car park ticket to the Ticket Desk in the gallery foyer for validation before you leave.
Please note: when the National Theatre building is closed (on Sundays, and on days without performances) there is no step-free access from the car park. Please contact the National Theatre directly to check before travelling. Call 020 7452 3961 or email [email protected]
Alternative parking is available nearby at the APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park (490 metres), subject to charges.
Blue Badge parking at APCOA Cornwall Road
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can also be found at the South Bank Car Park – APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park. Just take your badge and car park ticket to the parking attendant office at the entrance to the car park for validation before you leave.
A drop-off point at the Royal Festival Hall (30 metres) has been created for visitors who are unable to walk from alternative car parks.
Our Access Scheme
If you have any access requirements, please sign up to our Access Scheme for discounts, wheelchair spaces, dedicated seats and free companion tickets. You can also join our mailing list to get news about accessible events and exhibitions.