BWW Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS IN CONCERT at Providence Performing Arts Center
Are you a Gryffindor or a Hufflepuff? Do you see yourself more closely aligned with Slytherin than Ravenclaw? These are important questions to know the answer to before attending one of the Harry Potter film concerts, because probably 60% of attendees are wearing their house colors, and when the conductor asks you to cheer for your house before the show begins, you need to be ready. Right off the bat it's made very clear that this is not a typical symphony performance. Attendees are encouraged to cheer for their heros and boo for the baddies--the Dursley family got no love from the audience at the 8pm show. For true Harry Potter fans, this adds another dimension to watching the much-loved movies, and it is absolutely thrilling to watch the Rhode Island Philharmonic score the movie live.
Music in the movies is an essential element, but often it gets a bit overlooked. The scoring of a scene can give subtle clues about the mood, and ramp up the drama, but most people are likely focused on the visuals and may overlook all the thought that goes into the score. That's why these live concert events are so exciting. It's impossible to ignore the talent and skill that not only goes into writing a movie score, but also the frenetic precision of the musicians and the conductor.
The musicians of the Rhode Island Philharmonic are just astonishing. It's a real point of pride to have such skilled players in our tiny state. John Jesensky, the conductor, was also a true performer. If his tie is any indication, he's a Gryffindor, and a wildly talented conductor. One thing in particular that made his contribution so great was his outsized movements that played very well with the drama of the movie, and almost distracted from it at certain points.
These concerts can almost overwhelm the senses because the movie pulls you in, but then once you start watching the musicians and seeing the interplay between them and the conductor, it becomes a different type of show entirely. For those who may not feel inclined to go to a traditional symphony, this is a great way to ease into a different performance medium and find much to marvel at.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in concert was February 16 at Providence Performing Arts Center. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban is coming soon!