Alexander Armstrong narrates Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, to bring 
London Mozart Players’ ‘At Home with LMP’ lockdown series to a stylish close

Photo ©Johnny Ring                 

  • Actor, singer and presenter Alexander Armstrong narrates Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf for LMP in brand new film
  • Film includes Prokofiev’s score recorded in isolation, alongside live action and animation
  • Trailer here
  • To be broadcast Saturday 27 June at 10am via the LMP Facebook and Youtube pages
  • Final item in ‘At Home with LMP’ lockdown series, perfect for all the family
  • ‘At Home with LMP’ – over 90 days of unique musical content: 75,000 views so far
  • LMP launches fundraising appeal to secure its future

After 90 days of broadcasting an amazing array of daily musical content to inspire and satisfy its audience during the Covid-19 lockdown, London Mozart Players is bringing its ‘At Home with LMP’ series to a close with a flourish. Singer, actor and presenter Alexander Armstrong will narrate the story of Peter and the Wolf for a brand-new film, with Prokofiev’s score performed by the London Mozart Players – all videoed performing the various parts separately in their homes during lockdown, and the recordings painstakingly produced and mixed by conductors Timothy Henty and Benjamin Pope. Tim Henty, who has twice conducted ‘Classic FM Live’ concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, has also directed the film. The various roles (human and otherwise) have been performed by a cast of LMP family, friends . . . and pets!  The film also features brand new illustrations by Kirin Eldridge, animated by Cat Fuller. It is the perfect finale to an incredible series.

Alexander Armstrong, who follows in the footsteps of Alice Cooper, Bill Clinton, Boris Karloff and David Attenborough as previous narrators of this work, kindly donated his time to the project in support of the orchestra. He commented: ‘I was delighted to be asked to narrate Peter and the Wolf for LMP, it is one of the best ways to introduce young people to classical music, and what has been achieved in splendid isolation is something of a miracle. Hats off to LMP for the incredible ‘At Home with LMP’ initiative, it has brought a lot of comfort to many people during a very difficult time’.

When lockdown happened the London Mozart Players were ready, and quickly turned their hands to producing content to keep audience and players in touch. From Day 1 of lockdown, Monday 23 March, LMP broadcast a daily schedule of treats for music lovers of all ages via its social media channels. From deconstructions of symphonies to how to build a French horn from a hosepipe, the content kept coming. Contributions came in from musical stars such as Jess Gillam, Howard Shelley, Jane Glover, Michael Collins and Nicola Benedetti, with recitals from pianistMelvyn Tan, soprano Christina Johnston, baritone Roderick Williams and guitarist Craig Ogden among others. There was also a tribute to Max Jaffa, a four-part series on conducting, book reviews, instrument lessons, children’s singalongs, a freshly-minted version of The Carnival of the Animals (with Joanna Lumley narrating), and composer Alex Woolf produced a series of four new commissions – ‘Homespun Miniatures’ – for musicians to play in lockdown, with two of them performed on Channel 4 News and BBC Radio 4. Viewing figures are still on the increase, but to date ‘At Home with LMP’ content has racked up 75,000 views on social media.

No other orchestra can claim to have put together such an extraordinary range of unique content during lockdown, and to bring the curtain down, LMP presents Prokofiev’s ‘symphonic fairy tale for children’ Peter and the Wolf – a perennial favourite for adults and children alike, in a version as you have never seen it before. Masterminded by LMP’s Tegan Eldridge and produced and directed by conductor Timothy Henty, it is the culmination of everything that the orchestra has learned in lockdown: from musicians performing at home to click tracks and filming themselves on their phones, to conductors becoming film producers and marketers becoming broadcasters, and of course, everyone supported by family members home-schooling and working from home. LMP harnessed all the creative skills among the orchestra’s musicians (and their families), allowing them to flourish, proving that the passion for classical music and the LMP is a real driving force, even when apart.

While this has been an incredibly productive period for the orchestra as a whole, despite the anxiety and sadness of the pandemic, it is tempered with the knowledge that for all this output, there has been no concert ticket income. LMP are launching a new appeal to raise funds to sustain the orchestra during the coming months when venues remain closed and live concerts are not possible. Julia Desbruslais, Executive Director of the orchestra, said: ‘Though the odds have been stacked against us in lockdown we have turned a challenge into an opportunity and have delivered unique daily creative content to our dedicated audience for 12 weeks, bringing on board new friends at home and reaching music-lovers worldwide. During this time, the generosity of musicians and artists alike has known no bounds, but we cannot remain in this ‘time capsule’ any longer. Our musicians need reward and financial support for their music-making. We are launching an SOS – ‘Save our Sound’ so that LMP can carry on working in the community to continue our 70-year history of sharing the joy of classical music. We hope people will support us so we can carry on for another 70 years.

Donations can be made via the LMP’s website