LOTR Orchestra Date Night

I believe this will be the only time audiences sit in silence, attentively breathing in the music of any movie during credit roll. How often do we scramble our way to the Exit doors once a movie has ended? Every time. Today, however, everyone stayed put in their place enjoying the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra take the night to a close. The voices of Kaitlyn Lusk and 10 year old soprano Samuel Yuen, took my breath away. It was the only time we concentrated wholeheartedly to the sounds of the orchestra, the choir and the vocalists. 
The Star Theatre housed Howard Shore’s original academy award-winning score performed live to the epic motion picture, Lord of The Rings, for three nights. We caught the last show of the season. I especially love catching last shows because I believe performers would have perfected every fault and rehearsed their act to every last pant, giving their best performances to their audiences. Especially when it’s their last staging, they would want it to be flawless.

We were seated at CK 4 and 5, which is the left section of the theatre. It is 8 rows from the stage and I must say, it’s not too bad a row and section. Though for orchestras, it is better to sit a little farther back. Maybe a centre section at row BM might be good so that you can see more of the Orchestra at play. If you are looking to purchase tickets for an upcoming show, do note that the stalls are not elevated row after row. The theatre is beautiful and surprising huge. It has Stalls and 2 Circle levels which can house 5000 people. I was wowed especially when I was expecting something much smaller than this. The height of the theatre encompass a total of 5 storeys from Stalls to Circle. Large. New. Classy.

It is a date night planned in April 2013. It sounded really interesting. Something we have never experienced or heard of. There will be 250 musicians on-stage performing the entire soundtrack live, while the whole movie is being shown on a giant screen above them. Amazing how the sound effects and dialogue in the movie can balance perfectly with the live music. Problem with it was, the orchestra needed light to read their scores and with the movie playing behind them, the contrasts of the pictures weren’t as good as how it would look in a totally darkened room. When the fellowship of the ring march their way into the depths of Moria, we could hardly make anything out. It was too dark in the caves and too bright on stage. Halfway through the music and movie experience, we seemed to have forgotten if we were there to watch the orchestra or the show! We would stop watching the screen for some moments and turn our gazes at the violinists and cellists. I found it very difficult to concentrate on the orchestra whole-heartedly and found that a pity. I was there for the music more than the movie actually.

They had the strings dominate the front, winds following behind with the pianist and harpist at the side. There’s the vocalists on left of the stage with the choir standing right below the movie screen at the end of the stage. The choir. A large ensemble! One-fifth of the choir comprised the Young Voices of Vocal Associates and four-fifths from the International Festival Chorus. It is wonderful to see that both children and adults were involved in this large showcase. Even more beautiful to find that there were elderlies too, in both the choir and orchestra.

It was a great evening though I was getting a little sleepy halfway through the movie. I have watched it too many times before today. I got a little yawny as soon as Frodo left the Shire for the Prancing Pony. So I turned my concentration to the elegance of the music. I watched the conductor for a very long time. Justin Freer. Of all in the band, his job is the most tiresome! Besides not being able to sit, his arms never stopped waving! Gosh! Good on you Freer! You led well.

We decided to head out to the show by MRT this evening. We thought it would be fun and it was. We were joined by our neighbours, Diane and Trevor, and they agreed a train ride would be less stressful than looking for a parking lot at Star Vista. We haven’t had a date night this cool since Ewan was born. The ride back home was even more exciting! Because, we took the last train. It almost felt like we were sixteen and seventeen again. Last train back home without having to worry about putting our one year old to bed. From what we heard, he had a ball of a time with my dad today. No crying nor struggles. A trip to Maldives without Ewan seems promising! Till our next theatre date in July, adios.


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