A few seasons ago, I mentioned to a local artistic director that a concert production of Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, performed in Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater and backed by the North Carolina Symphony, would be a sure-fire hit. While that production never came to fruition (and now can’t happen for some time due to the saturated Sweeney market in the area), something just as exciting and awesome happened this past weekend – and if you missed it, you definitely missed out.
Peter Jackson’s epic film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, took up a two-day residency in the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh. Doesn’t sound awesome enough? Well, this particular showing had the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Master Chorale, the Raleigh Boychoir, and the North Carolina Boys Choir, performing all of Howard Shore’s Academy Award®-winning score, live on stage. See? Awesome.
I’m not going to spend time reviewing the movie. It’s 15 years old, now; and there’s nothing new to say. The technical team at Red Hat had some glitches with the projection throughout the first half, but they weren’t too distracting — and rectified themselves for the second part.
The greatest takeaway is this: while watching the movie, you get totally engrossed; the music matched so effortlessly, and sounded so spectacular, that when you realized the musicians and chorus’ were all in front of you, an exhilarated pride shot through you: North Carolina has talent! Lots of it. And it was on glorious display. I left thinking that our symphony orchestra deserves just as much attention as the big players. They proved themselves quite capable of strong national attention.
If this event continues throughout the coming summers, take it in. Even for those who aren’t serious LOTR fans should find plenty worth enjoying.
SECOND OPINION: Sept. 20th Raleigh, NC CVNC review by Andrea McKerlie Luke: http://cvnc.org/article.cfm?articleId=7589; and Sept. 12th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview by Corbie Hill: http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article34860867.html.
“THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING” IN CONCERT (North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Master Chorale, Raleigh Boychoir, and North Carolina Boys Choir, Sept. 18 and 19 in Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh).
SHOW: http://www.ncsymphony.org/events/index.cfm?view=details&viewref=calendar&detailid=1202&eid=2153, http://www.redhatamphitheater.com/event/the-lord-of-the-rings-the-fellowship-of-the-ring-6323; and https://www.facebook.com/events/1569942416626616/.
North Carolina Symphony: http://www.ncsymphony.org/, https://www.facebook.com/ncsymphony, https://twitter.com/ncsymphony, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina_Symphony.
North Carolina Master Chorale: http://ncmasterchorale.org/, https://www.facebook.com/NCMasterChorale, and https://twitter.com/NCMasterChorale.
Raleigh Boychoir: http://www.raleighboychoir.org/, https://www.facebook.com/TheRaleighBoychoir, and https://twitter.com/Raleighboychoir.
North Carolina Boys Choir: http://ncboyschoir.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/northcarolinaboyschoir. VENUE: http://www.redhatamphitheater.com/, https://www.facebook.com/RedHatAmphitheater, and https://twitter.com/redhatamp.
Jesse R. Gephart is a Raleigh, NC-based actor, director, and reviewer. A Gainesville, FL native, he earned a degree in Theatre Performance in 2005 from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. On Feb. 20-March 1, 2015, he directed and starred in Mortall Coile Theatre Company’s presentation of British playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell’s first play, The Pride (2008), which won the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. Then, on May 1-14, he directed Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in RLT‘s Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre. To read more of Jesse Gephart’s reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/jesse-r-gephart/.)