BWW REVIEW: Sydney Symphony Orchestra Brings The Magical Score of HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE To Life For The HARRY POTTER FILM CONCERT SERIES
Friday 28th April 2017, 7pm, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Sydney Symphony Orchestra brings John Williams' incredible score of HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE to life in the latest collaboration with CineConcerts. With a precision and energy, conductor Jeffry Schindler shares the joy of the classical music which colours the popular movie in the iconic space of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
Whilst the reach of the Harry Potter movies spans a wide audience since the first film HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE bought JK Rowling's magical world alive in 2001, many probably aren't fully aware of the detail and impact John Williams' score has on the experience. As with many movies, television shows and even cartoons, music plays an integral role in creating the mood of a scene and more often than not, this music is rendered by full traditional orchestras as opposed to computer generated and the Harry Potter series is no different. The score helps to ensure that the audience feel the emotions the director wants them to feel, in the same way that a writer's words evoke feelings. Music may vary from bold and imposing to subtle and secondary but either way, it helps draw out feelings, from joy and excitement, love and desire, fear and suspense, and sorrow and grief.
CineConcerts pairs a High Definition projection of the Warner Bros movie high above the stage with the full Sydney Symphony Orchestra who play John Williams Academy Awards nominated score in its entirety, albeit with a 15 minute intermission included. Schindler ensures that the live orchestration fits perfectly with the images with the aid of a monitor providing cues and he coaxes out the dynamics of the work to ensure the sound mix between the special effects, dialogue and orchestra is balanced perfectly to ensure the conversations are still heard. It is wonderful to see as well as hear the orchestra and identify how Williams' created the iconic soundtrack, from the delicate harp to the sweeping violins, the murmuring cellos and double bass and the deep bassoon, tuba and timpani.
The audience is encouraged to respond to the movie in the style of the Sound Of Music Singalongs and Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings, helping the audience that may not be as used to formal concerts to relax and feel comfortable. The audience participation is an interesting element to the evening as Schindler asks the audience to declare their house allegiances early on and this results in pantomime style calls, jeers and cheers for both the houses and the characters. On the night reviewed, it was clear that an orchestral concert was a new experience for some of the audience whilst others it was possibly their first experience of the Wizarding world but there were also many people that are clearly fans of the franchise, coming dressed in robes, brandishing wands and clutching stuffed owl toys.
HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE IN CONCERT is a fabulous showcase of both John Williams' wonderful score and the talents of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and serves as a great reminder that classical music permeates through so much of modern culture. This is a perfect experience for those less familiar with live orchestral works and also regular symphony goers and definitely a treat for fans of the Wizarding world. For those that have experienced this event, Sydney Symphony Orchestra will also be presenting HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS IN CONCERT in October.