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Fears Southampton will be in Belfast's shadow for Titanic anniversary
Belfast’s 90-minute prime-time event will be broadcast across the UK by the BBC, which is also distributing the programme internationally, with major USA networks also set to show the commemoration of Titanic.
The story of Titanic and those who built and sailed on her, will be retold through orchestral performances, a massed choir and documentary and archive material, presented by a line-up of internationally acclaimed artists who will be announced in the new year.
Whilst not on the scale of Belfast’s event, Southampton is determined to mark the centenary with a fitting week-long programme of performances.
The opening of the SeaCity museum is expected to be a highlight while an interactive education package is being rolled out to schools to engage them in the event.
On the night of Belfast’s showcase event on April 14, an evening of music is also being staged at the Southampton Guildhall.
On Tuesday, April 10, as part of the series of cultural events, the City of Southampton Orchestra will be performing a special concert in the city’s Eastern Docks. Staged in the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal, overlooking the berth from which Titanic set sail, the orchestra will be joined by a specially formed “Titanic Chorus’’ made up of members of the Southampton Philharmonic Society, Taunton’s Community Choir, Romsey Choral Society and Basingstoke Philharmonic.
Around 500 people are expected to pack the terminal for an evening that will include an ‘embarkation experience’ with a string quartet playing music from the White Star song book.
A specially commissioned exhibition is also being put together with the help of the Grey Lady Arts Foundation which will show photos, posters and exhibits from the time.
Performers dressed in period costume will also be mingling among guests before they are led upstairs to the main performance area.
Following a dedication by a member of Southampton’s clergy, the evening will culminate with a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony.
The following day, Wednesday, April 11, Look Out! Southampton’s Titanic Story in Song is being presented at the Turner Sims Concert Hall at Southampton University.
Performed by White Star Line-Up, a group of primarily Southampton-based singers and musicians formed specifically to tell this story and tells of the tragedy, and the aftermath, from the viewpoint of the town and its Southampton crew.