Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 03/23/2013 3:26 AM | Comments: 0
Sword-swinging pirates, supernatural curses and swooning damsels made it an extraordinary night at the symphony.
On Friday night, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) held the first of its three-show Pops series presentation of the adventure film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
An almost full house of audience members, including many children, was treated to a high-definition showing thanks to an eight-metre by 4.5-metre screen suspended above the stage. Specialty equipment brought in just for this event delivered the dialogue and special effects. And the soundtrack? It was played by the WSO, led by game-for-anything conductor Richard Lee.
The men from the Winnipeg Singers provided vocals from behind the orchestra.
Directed by Gore Verbinski and based on the popular Walt Disney theme park ride, the Curse of the Black Pearl is the first in a series of four films, with a fifth to be released in 2015. It was the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2003.
As a music reviewer, I admit I didn't know what to expect from this production. I had seen the movie years ago and liked the score composed by German composer Klaus Badelt. The theme song, He's a Pirate has become a favourite in the figure-skating circuit. But how would it translate to a concert hall environment and how would the orchestra sync its playing to the movie?
No worries, as the saying goes. Maestro Lee had everything well in hand, equipped with a laptop in front of his podium, showing the film and counting down the beats. As the film opened, the music began and we were transported to a ship on the ocean.
The sets are lush; the costumes impeccable; and as the story unfolded, it was easy to get caught up in the action. And while some dialogue was overpowered by the music, it was still exciting. Often heroic and suitably stirring, it was enriched by the rich voices of the singers.
It's hard not to root for Johnny Depp's quirky character, Captain Jack Sparrow, with his inimitable mannerisms and devil-may-care attitude. As he commandeered the ship Interceptor to help blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) rescue his secret love, the governor's daughter Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), he proved himself to be a buccaneer par excellence. He easily tracked down the pirate ship, the Black Pearl, finding its leader, Captain Barbossa (Australian actor Geoffrey Rush) and his band of creepy men.
Music sets the scene in any movie and often acts as a harbinger of events to follow. But hearing it played live really hammered this home. The life the WSO's playing injected into the film made the characters and the action jump right off the screen. A gentle minuet accompanied Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport) as he attempted to propose to Elizabeth. The low strings and brass made the storm scene even stormier. When the city was set on fire, the timpani pounded and the cymbals crashed. Everything fit perfectly.
Orchestra members deserved the loud cheers as they took their bows.
The show repeats today at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 23, 2013 A18
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Photog settles suit against Bieber over altercation outside studio
Fred & Toody to play WECC June 9
The British are coming: Elton, Ed, The Who to play Jazz Fest
Six memorable Sharon, Lois & Bram hits
Six memorable Sharon, Lois & Bram hits
Lloyd fuses ancient and modern on new CD "Wild Man Dance"
Shad shares 5 dream interviews for 'q'
Elton John's heart-shaped glasses stolen from Memphis museum
I never claimed Bieber wasn't there: lawyer
Indie band Royal Canoe among lineup for Folk Fest's Big Blue @ Night
Brian Wilson happy to have an old friend on new record, tour
Music club pulls strings to book famed violinist
Wu-Tang Clan member to discuss art, physics at MIT
Council approves move of Presley's planes from Graceland
The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store
Singer Sledge remembered at funeral for talent, kindness
Oh My Darling to play WECC May 24
Local violinist in the running for finalist spot in national music competition
Charles Lloyd, Carla Bley, George Coleman receive jazz honour
'Sound & Color' among new CD releases
Shorter, Di Meola, Cullum to headline Montreal Jazz Festival
Music Review: Passion Pit feeling the 'Kindred' spirit
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleads guilty to threatening to kill
New music festival launched outside Nashville
Bobby Brown's lawyer: Bobbi Kristina Brown has opened eyes
Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks
Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks
Buck 65 back on CBC after deleting cryptic post
Wolfe's 'Anthracite Fields' wins Pulitzer for music
National showcase for young composers coming to Winnipeg on April 26
Music Review: Pop-rockers Mana reignite on 'Cama Incendiada'
Facing the second album challenge with Alabama Shakes
Willie Nelson becomes latest celebrity in marijuana business
The country stars come out to play
Fiddle champion headlines the Prairie Kitchen Party on May 30
Lambert wins 4, but Luke Bryan takes top prize at ACM Awards
ACM Awards: Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift shine
Ice princess melts opera audience
Select winners from the 50th annual ACM Awards