BWW Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE IN CONCERT Will Make You Believe in Magic
Has Harry Potter reached cult classic level yet? It certainly seemed to last night. Presented by the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and Attila Glatz Concert Productions, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Justin Freer) was joined by the Women's Chorus from Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers to present HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE IN CONCERT. Performing to an adoring crowd of hardcore fans, the Sony Centre was buzzing with Potter-mania.
The first of eight films being presented in a cinematic concert series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone™ is based on J.K. Rowling's first novel (which celebrated its 20th Anniversary just two days ago). Following Harry in his first year at Hogwarts, the film, directed by Christopher Columbus, features the iconic score by the brilliant film composer, John Williams.
Even while watching the film in its natural state, the score is famously beautiful - but seeing and hearing it performed live by a full orchestra and choir, is sincerely special. In this setting, melodic subtexts in Williams' score are easier to identify. You can now see the musicians playing them. I walked out of the concerT Loving moments from the score I had never heard the first twenty times I had watched the film.
Playing arguably one of the most famous themes in all of film music, "Hedwig's Theme" - the soloists have a tough job. One wrong note and the entire audience knows it (luckily the TSO musicians are superbly talented). While the entire score is gorgeous, the last twenty minutes of the film features some of the most suspenseful, exciting musical moments. The harp solo during the scene with Fluffy is enchanting with a live harpist, quickly intensifying when the trio (Harry, Ron & Hermione) fall into the devil's snare. I beg you to stay until the end of the credits. Staying until the very end gives you a chance to hear the stunning music Williams composed for the credits and it gives you a chance to pay respect to the musicians - attentively performing over two hours of phenomenal orchestral music.
If for some reason you could care less about the live music, the film-going experience itself is like no other. You'll be in a crowd of thousands of other Harry Potter fans - who are encouraged to be rowdy by maestro Justin Freer. Each actor/character's entrance was met with thunderous applause - including competitive cheering when the Hogwarts houses were introduced. Anyone is welcome - there was a father beside me introducing his young son to the magical world for the first time. I think it's safe to say that the future of the Harry Potter franchise is safe.
You have two more chances to see HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE IN CONCERT - Tonight, June 28, 2017 at 7:30pm and Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 7:30pm.
HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE IN CONCERT is presented by the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and Attila Glatz Concert Productions. Performances take place at the Sony Centre, 1 Front St E, Toronto, ON.
Visit http://www.sonycentre.ca/calendar-event-details/?id=285 for more information and to purchase tickets.
The second film in the concert series, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS IN CONCERT with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is scheduled for October 12, 13 and 14, 2017
HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s17)