Ben Hur Live

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Ben Hur Live
German fold-out flyer
German flyer (opened) - Klaus Badelt still mentioned as composer
ad in Hellweger Anzeiger - February 28, 2009
a ticket for the show
Basic information
Composed by: Stewart Copeland
Composed in: 2009
Length: XX minutes
Premiere date: 2009-09-17
Premiere venue: O2 Arena
Premiere location: London, England, UK


Ben Hur Live is a 2009 stage adaptation of Lew Wallace's novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Produced by Franz Abraham with music and narration by Stewart Copeland, it premièred on 2009-09-17 at the O2 Arena in London, the first date of its European tour.

The show's dialogue is in Latin and Aramaic, and it includes a sea battle and gladiatorial combat, as well as the chariot race for which Ben Hur is famous. It is based primarily on the book as its source material rather than the Academy Award-winning adaptation which starred Charlton Heston.

In the months after the show's premiere, the production has suffered numerous production issues and future performances are uncertain.


This section needs more information. Include an introduction to this composition: if it was commissioned for a particular event, based on a particular source material, other individuals involved in the production of this piece, etc.

Rehearsal history

CD-Rom giveaway
ships with effects and lights

Rehearsals for this event happened in the ISS Dome in Düsseldorf, Germany from June 22 to August 7, 2009. These rehearsals took place while the temporary music was played (no orchestra yet) combined with Stewart's narration.

Stewart Copeland worked on the music for Ben Hur Live in Düsseldorf between 2009-07-14 and 2009-08-05 at the Skyline Tonfabrik. He rarely attended the rehearsals.

The last day of rehearsals in Düsseldorf took place in front of a small audience of sponsors and guests. These people received a folder with a German booklet about the production, some flyers and a CD-Rom including artwork and 4 tracks by Stewart Copeland.

Further rehearsals were planned to take place in Tours, France. But as the venue turned out to be too small for this production rehearsals went on in Oberhausen, Germany at the König-Pilsener-Arena (scheduled to take place between August 9 and September 10, 2009).

On 2009-09-08 - about 1000 people at Oberhausen's König-Pilsener-Arena witnessed the first complete performance of the show. The tickets were given away to schools and charity organizations for free. The show now included costumes, enhanced effects, more animals (no bicycles anymore) - and a German narrator at the start and end of each act (with the English Stewart narration in between, because the German narration was not yet recorded). Several hundred costumes were still missing - they will be brought from Thailand within the week until the London premiere. The chariot race ended with a minor injury by one of the stuntmen.

In the evening of the same day a second rehearsal show in front of a test audience was performed. This time Stewart Copeland acted as a narrator - in person. The chariot race was not performed that evening as the horses were too exhausted.

Performance history

This section needs more information.

The tour schedule was set initially to include the following dates and locations:[1]

It was expected that the show would tour South America and Australia before returning to Europe in the fall of 2010,[2] including these two dates:

The following London dates were also added later, promising that the show would return to the O2 Arena in 2010:

In November 2009, however, the production ground to a halt before scheduled performance in Milan, supposedly due to technical problems with the battleship not fitting in the arena. The dates were to be rescheduled for Autumn 2010.[3]

On 2009-12-09, it was announced that upcoming scheduled performances in the UK, Spain, and Hungary were canceled or postponed due to technical problems with the staging.[4]

On 2010-01-28 it was announced that the scheduled performances of Ben Hur Live in Vienna and Gelsenkirchen had been canceled and there appeared to be financial problems within the production company.[5] The news announcement for the cancellation read:

The BEN HUR LIVE show dates scheduled for 5th/6th February 2010 in Gelsenkirchen and 9th /10th 
February 2010 in Vienna are cancelled.

Due to an external file of bankruptcy, ART CONCERTS GmbH, producer and promoter of the show can't 
guarantee the realization of the performances.

We plan to perform new shows on 21st /22nd May 2010 in Gelsenkirchen and on 24th /25th April or 
26th /27th May in Vienna with a new company founded by investors in order to satisfy ticket 
holders. This is the highest motivation of everybody involved.

Cancellation and refunding of tickets for performances in Gelsenkirchen are legally not possible 
before nomination of a liquidator and unrealistic due to illiquidity.

Ticket buyers from Vienna will be informed separately, as we are still in negotiation with the 
local ticket dealers.

In this respect we would like to ask you wait for reactivation in order to see the show.

We ask you to desist from inquiry directly to the ticket dealers, as only ART CONCERTS is currently 
dealing with ticket cancellation.

Please read also the separate letter to our ticket holders.

We would like to apologize to all concerned parties for this development.

Presales of dates in Kaltenberg, Berlin, and Frankfurt were also put on hold.

Release History

Ben Hur Live appears on the following album releases:

Cover art Album title Release date Release country
Ben Hur Live.jpg Ben Hur Live (press CD-Rom) 2009-08-07 Germany
Music From Ben Hur Live.jpg Music From Ben Hur Live ? ?

Quotations and trivia

This section needs more information.

See also

This section needs more information.

External links


sources: internet (see external links), German newspapers