Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Singing The Lord of the Rings - Part 5

Singing The Lord of the Rings - Part 5
By Guillaume Schneider
Part 1 is available HERE.
Part 2 is available HERE.
Part 3 is available HERE.
Part 4 is available HERE.

Watching FOTR Live to Projection was a pure delight for both eyes and ears! The sold out performance attracted some lost Hobbits and Elves who created a nice atmosphere in the lobby. I purchased the program to see what people learned about the performers and the music. Its content was surprisingly very extensive and included extracts from Doug Adams’ analysis of the most important themes such as "The One Ring," "Gollum," and "Mordor." I discovered that reading these as a spectator right before a Live to Projection concert makes you highly impatient!

It was the first time I entered the Philharmonie im Gasteig and my thoughts were entirely focused on the imposing silver screen behind the stage. I admit I only saw ROTK in the theater so it would be my very first time seeing FOTR on a big screen! My seat was perfectly well-placed in the front row of the first block of the first level, i.e. first-class entertainment. I noticed the hall was much more suited for this kind of concert than the Berliner Philharmonie which has many seats behind the orchestra. 

The choir entered the hall, followed by the orchestra and finally, Mr. Wicki. Music stepped in and the magic began taking its course. I let myself completely immerse in the movie, considering this representation as my reward for the time I invested in this huge project. From time to time I glanced at the choir, checking out its appearance. The rises and lowerings of the choir were well synchronised, as were the entries. The male voices were more audible than anticipated, which was a relief. I was impressed by the boy soloist whose outstanding performance of "The Road Goes Ever On" resembled the original version. The thundering applause at the end underlined my opinion of this show: it was a complete success. I truly felt proud to take part in the other concerts. This was just a foretaste and knowing I would come again six more times in the next week was thrilling!

Ludwig Wicki and Company in Rehearsal
Then came Wednesday, April 20, the day of the first TTT concert. A dress rehearsal was planned in the morning, which was a perfect opportunity to really delve into the music before the main event. This time I entered the Philharmonie through the stage door -- what a great sensation! I found my way through the maze of doors and floors and reached a filled choir room. Everyone was dressed casually (since we didn’t have to wear black yet), but I could tell that even the most discrete people were excited. We rehearsed the entrance on stage as well as the risings and lowerings, which most importantly had to be executed with elvish grace and lightness! After a few tries, the managers were satisfied and the orchestra came in, tuning their instruments. Mr. Wicki gave the signal and the movie started. Singing in a noble place was new to me, especially in front of empty seats. Fascinating experience, having your favorite movie projected and not being allowed to watch it! Being in the last row, I had perfect sight of the entire hall and I wasn’t annoying anyone when I looked back to the screen every now and then. In my defense, it was just a rehearsal and many others did the same. Who wouldn’t understand, right?

Once the screen faded, I was ready for applause. Of course, none came because relatives couldn’t attend dress rehearsal. Sitting and standing straight for nearly 3 hours is quite challenging, in particular if you have my height, but I guess I would have to cope with it. Mr. Wicki reminded the women to be more aggressive during some parts and announced that we were ready for the fight. That was all that mattered. 

7:29 pm. A waiting choir, all in black, music sheets covered. Then the entrance into Middle-earth.

[To be continued ... ]
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