If you’ve been following me on bookstagram, you likely already know this, but this past Thursday I went to watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with a live symphony orchestra playing alongside the movie. Do you know how epic that is?
Firstly, this is extremely clever for the symphony and performing arts industry. No longer is watching an orchestra play a dull classicist type of entertainment. Instead, they are modernizing their performances and appealing to younger audiences! Across the aisle from me, a little girl was gasping and saying “Oh no!” as she watched the movie for the first time, and likely a symphony for the first time, too. In fact, there were quite a few kids there with their parents, decked out in their House colours and enjoying a medium of entertainment that they likely wouldn’t have been exposed to in such an amazing way otherwise.
How it worked was the orchestra was laid out for performance on the stage and a massive screen hung over them. For The Prisoner of Azkaban, they of course had to have a live choir, which was situated at the back of the stage. The only sad part was that the screen hid them from view from where I sat in the upper balcony. The movie began to play and so did the orchestra, and let me tell you, it made the movie epic. The screen had subtitles, just in case the live music drowned out the dialogue, which I thought was smart. But honestly, I had shivers while watching a movie I have watched a hundred times (yes, this movie specifically – I practically know every line!) which is saying something.
The conductor, Justin Freer, made it clear that cheering and clapping for our favourite characters and our favourite scenes was part of the fun and encouraged an all around good time. This was not your typical polite, over-dressed, classical concert – it was beautiful, epic, and so much fun!
These types of shows are popping up everywhere around the world right now. I know many bookstagram friends who have been watching live orchestra Harry Potter movies in England and in the U.S. – it’s an incredible trend that is modernizing something classic, and encourages younger generations to enjoy cultured forms of entertainment made new.
You can bet I will be watching The Goblet of Fire next year. I also have my fingers crossed for a live Lord of the Rings showing one day soon here in Vancouver!