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Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE IN CONCERT, Royal Albert Hall

Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE IN CONCERT, Royal Albert Hall

Live music from the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra redefines 'magic' in this spellbinding perfromance.

Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE IN CONCERT, Royal Albert Hall The Harry Potter series captured the hearts of a generation - and whether you were enrolled in Hogwarts through the books or the film series, you're likely to feel some sense of nostalgia whenever they are mentioned. With seven books, eight films, a stage production, and countless video games to devour - it's hard to believe there's a new way to share this story, but that's where CiniConcerts step in.

CineConcert is a company that creates unforgettable cinematic experiences for its audiences by playing fan-favourite films alongside a live orchestra. This allows viewers to create a new appreciation for the soundtracks - and makes it hard to enjoy movies without the presence of a live orchestra or band moving forward. While they regularly shake up their film offerings, the Harry Potter series remains a staple.

Working in chronological rotation, this year's offering is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - the sixth installment in Harry's battle against Voldemort. For this film, the score was composed by Nicholas Hooper, who received a Grammy Nomination for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture as a result. It's a score that captures the magic of the earlier films while making way for the grittier, darker moments to come - and it's fantastic to get to hear it live, especially in the presence of Hooper himself, who watched from the audience.

Without delving too deeply into the plot, this film focuses on Harry and Dumbledore's attempts to uncover more about Voldemort's past, while also featuring a series of bumbling, coming-of-age romances. It's one of the few films where the universal experiences of being a teacher - crushes, awkward moments, petty fights - are realised in the magical world. Seeing it in concert makes me thankful that there was nobody adding an atmospheric score to my own awkward teenage years.

The Half-Blood Prince is one of the more action-heavy films and with a budget of £250 million, it's not only the most expensive film in the series but also one of the most expensive films ever made. As a result, it lends itself nicely to the extra level of drama and intensity that is introduced when accompanied by a live orchestra.

The live music not only allows the audience to develop a greater appreciation for the soundtrack but also draws attention to the complexity of the story playing out on screen. Moments that may otherwise be lost are drawn into focus through sudden changes in melody or instrument, and this proves just how well the music not only enhances - but improves - the story.

In this production, the phenomenal Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, are helmed by conductor Justin Freer. Freer's command of both the stage and music are truly something to behold, and throughout there is not a note that is out of place. The result? A magical movie made all the more magical.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert is touring worldwide.

Photo Credit: Abbie Grundy



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