The Philly POPS Rocks the Fab Four’s Final Album

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia POPS
photo by Bachrach.Photo

The Philly POPS goes across the universe for a night celebrating The Beatles’ final release in POPS Rocks: Let it Be March 11–13, 2022 at the Kimmel Cultural Campus.

Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell, the full Philly POPS orchestra, and guest artists Classical Mystery Tour, previously featured in 2019’s POPS Rocks Abbey Road and 2017’s Sgt Pepper Celebration, will highlight favorites from Let It Be, including “The Long and Winding Road,” “Across the Universe” and more, 52 years after the album’s release. The performance will also feature hits from earlier Beatles albums, like “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yellow Submarine.”

“The Beatles defined the sounds of the ‘60s, and yet, each of their albums has its own distinctive character,” said Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell. “Let It Be was a defining moment for the band, boasting several of the Fab Four’s greatest hits, despite the internal tensions the group was experiencing. As shown in Peter Jackson’s recent documentary Get Back, Billy Preston’s positive energy and virtuoso keyboard playing re-energized the group at a critical moment during the recording sessions. ‘Get Back’ and ‘Let It Be’ would not be the classics that they are without Billy. I’m excited to welcome back Classical Mystery Tour, who will help bring The Beatles’ energy to life onstage, complete with authentic costumes and Liverpool accents. We’ll also feature The Philly POPS in a magnificently symphonic opening medley and new arrangements of ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ (from our other featured album, Revolver) and ‘One after 909.’”

The Beatles released Let It Be in 1970, eight months after the release of Abbey Road and one month after the group famously broke up. Like Abbey Road, the tracks on Let It Be were never formally performed live, since the group had disbanded before the album was released. However, several tracks were heard during The Beatles’ storied rooftop concert in January 1969. In November 2021, The Beatles and Let It Be reentered the mainstream with The Beatles: Get Back documentary on Disney+, which shows the rehearsals and recording process from Let It Be. In January 2021, the rooftop concert was released for the first time on music streaming platforms.

“The music of The Beatles is the perfect intersection of pop and rock,” said President Frank Giordano. “Let It Be was a musically inventive album, but also one you could sing along to, which is why The Beatles’ music is still so popular today.”

Tickets start at $35 and are available at Rocks Let it Be runs March 11, 12 and 13, 2021 at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Cultural Campus. As part of the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ Safe and Clean Commitment, guests are required to provide proof of vaccination and must wear masks while in the building. 

The Philly POPS is partnered with Art-Reach for their ACCESS initiative. ACCESS cardholders can purchase tickets for the reduced price of $2 per ticket in person at the Academy of Music box office.

Performance repertoire:

  • Beatles!!! A Medley of Lennon and McCartney Favorites
  • Hello, Goodbye
  • Got to Get You Into My Life
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Tomorrow Never Knows
  • Here, There, and Everywhere
  • Strawberry Fields Forever
  • Penny Lane
  • With a Little Help From My Friends
  • She’s Leaving Home
  • A Day in the Life
  • I Am the Walrus
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • Good Night
  • One After 909 (Instrumental)
  • Get Back
  • Across the Universe
  • The Long and Winding Road
  • Let It Be

ABOUT CLASSICAL MYSTERY TOUR– Since its initial performance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center (now renamed Segerstrom Center for the Arts) in 1996, Classical Mystery Tour has become a Symphony Pops attraction over the last decade. The group has been performing consistently for more than 22 years with more than 100 orchestras in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The group played to packed houses at the Sydney Opera House and has performed with America’s most prestigious orchestras: The Cleveland Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Philly POPS, The San Francisco Symphony, among many others.

About Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell
Born in North Carolina, David grew up in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. At the age of fourteen, he turned his attention to conducting and went on to study with Leonard Bernstein and Nadia Boulanger. He earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School after intensive study of viola, piano, and composition. He has worked with such distinguished artists as Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Idina Menzel, Heather Headley, Bryn Terfel, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison and Michael Feinstein. Previously, as Guest Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor of The Philly POPS, he conducted Cole Porter’s Broadway: Too Darn HotLenny’s RevolutionBlockbuster Broadway, and A Philly POPS Christmas in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020’s streamed performance, and 2021.  

David has appeared regularly on television, most notably conducting the 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts of Les Misérables. He has conducted five times at London’s BBC Proms, including a live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. Recordings include the musicals Miss SaigonMartin Guerre and Man of La ManchaSomething’s Gotta Give with baritone Simon Keenleyside, Forever with soprano Diana Damrau, and highlights from La Bohème and Madama Butterfly with the Royal Philharmonic.  

In the UK, David recently conducted his own critical edition of Kiss Me, Kate for Opera North. He has conducted many of the premier British orchestras, including the London Symphony, City of Birmingham, Bournemouth, and Royal Philharmonic. His work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra includes a centenary concert honoring his mentor Leonard Bernstein in 2018. A much-respected artist in London’s West End, David conducted the Olivier Awards ceremony for four years and was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s personal choice to lead the world premiere of Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre.  

David’s recent projects have included a series of Gershwin concerts at Kyiv National Theatre of Operetta in Ukraine, Carousel at the Vienna Volksoper and Sweeney Todd at the Zurich Opera House. David also conducted Barrie Kosky’s production of The Magic Flute at Opera Philadelphia, West Side Story at the Glimmerglass Festival, and Silent Night, Kevin Puts’ acclaimed opera about the World War I Christmas Truce, in Kansas City, Cincinnati and Detroit.  

About The Philly POPS  
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert performances and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives. As the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia’s partner in civic celebration, The Philly POPS serves a consistently growing audience of over 450,000 annually. The 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keep listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs—from American traditional music up through to today’s chart-toppers. 

In addition to Subscription Series performances at The Kimmel Center, The Philly POPS presents innovative programming with contemporary artists at the Met Philadelphia in The Philly POPS at the Met Philadelphia series. Other ensembles that make up The Philly POPS are: The Philly POPS BIG Band, which plays a rock and rhythm and blues repertoire, and The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, under the direction of Artistic Director for Jazz, Terell Stafford.

Outside the concert hall, free Salute Series performances – including Memorial Salute, July 3 POPS on Independence, July 4 POPS at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and POPS on the Parkway, Veterans Day activities and the I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders concert – celebrate the American tradition of service around important national holidays. POPS Outside brings POPS music to local communities. The Philly POPS performs as a founding resident company of The Kimmel Cultural Campus, as the Principal Orchestra of the Met Philadelphia, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

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