Celebrities - including performers Ruthie Henshall, Maria Friedman, David Essex and Lauren Kennedy and composer Alan Menken - are due to turn out in force to commemorate the work of Rice, who has leant his lyrics to some of the most successful stage musicals in recent years, including, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Chess, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Broadway's Aida, currently looking for a home for a West End transfer.
Songs which will form part of the evening's entertainment will include Rice's "The Circle Of Life", "Don't Cry For Me Argentina", "Superstar", "A Whole New World", "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?", "Another Suitcase In Another Hall", "I Don't Know How To Love Him", "You Must Love Me", "One Night In Bangkok", "Any Dream Will Do", "Oh! What A Circus" and "I Know Him So Well". The event will also see the first UK performance of songs from Aida, by Rice and Elton John.
The Night of 1000 Voices will be hosted by Rice and led by conductor David Firman and director Hugh Wooldridge. Accompanying the various stars - many still to be confirmed - in their musical numbers will be the Sing Live massed choir from around the British Isles, 200 children from the Sylvia Young Theatre School and The City of London Philharmonic. The programme will also feature special lighting and fireworks displays.
The 2002 1000 Voices event follow similar extravaganzas at the Albert Hall in 1999 and 2000, which celebrated musicals through the millennium and the 70th birthday of Stephen Sondheim, respectively. Proceeds from this year's concert will benefit The Lord's Taverners who "give young people, particularly those with special needs a sporting chance". Rice has been closely associated with this charity for many years.
Tickets cost from £17.50 to £47.50, with special gala tickets available for £125.00.
- by Terri Paddock