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Music for a TV advertising film, the launch of the famous duet from Lakme, music by Leo Delibes, arranged and conducted by Howard Blake
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd
Commissioned by: Saatchi and Saatchi
Instrumentation: 2 sopranos and orch.
[Key to Abbreviations]
First Performance: Recorded CTS March 31 1984, Elaine Barry and Judith Pearce (sopranos) and orchestra conducted by Howard Blake
Sheet Music Available
Instrumental / piano score for sale

The British Airways Theme Tune (Lakme) for solo piano is available as sheet music from Highbridge Music Ltd


The director Tony Scott had been introduced to this duet for two sopranos by Howard, who then recorded it with his own orchestra for Tony's feature film 'The Hunger' in 1982. The song comes from the opera 'Lakme' by Leo Delibes (1883) and is called 'Viens Mallika'.

Two years later Tony asked Howard if the track could be adapted for a TV commercial for British Airways (titled 'Wider Seats'). He used the same sopranos and orchestra but adapted it to fit the film. Innumerable re-arrangements followed over a period of more than 20 years.

Simon Laurie who edited the film in 1984 describes the film:  ''The ad featured  a wider seat being lowered into a roofless plane. Unfortunately when the lid is replaced a small bird is trapped inside, The roof is then raised to let the bird escape because British Airways is "the airline that cares about everyone that flies."



Related Works

'THE HUNGER' op.314 (October 1982) (Audio Sample Available)
Music supervised, arranged, conducted (and in some instances played) by Howard Blake for the feature film directed by Tony Scott starring Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie
'BRITISH AIRWAYS' op.348 (1985)
The further use of Delibes' 'Lakme' for a TV advertising film
'BRITISH AIRWAYS - 'SUPERLAKME'' op.353 (September 1985)
Music for a TV advertising film
'TEARS OF JOY' op.499 (June 1997)
A new arrangement of Lakme for 2 sopranos and piano(see op.333), music for a TV advertising film (British Airways)

Related Autobiography Chapters

British Airways,Thea King's clarinet concerto and Henry Vth at Stratford (1984)

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