When Universal Pictures released the original version of the Phantom of the Opera in 1925, audiences would faint and scream at the famous unmasking scene. A horror movie that, well, horrific was unheard of at the time and it changed the face of film. (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and The Mummy were all released after.) Vancouver audiences will have a chance to experience this classic film at the Orpheum on April 20, but with an added bonus. The Bach Choir will be performing an original score that accompanies the film.
The music was specially commissioned by Canadian composer Andrew Downing, who is also a bassist, cellist and bandleader with an eclectic and celebrated career. He’s won two Juno Awards, two West Coast Music Awards and the Grand Prix de Jazz and has worked on everything from contemporary jazz creations to a chamber ensemble piece based on the life of Andre the Giant. The chamber ensemble accompanying the choir consists of an unusual combination of instruments including clarinet, piano, and double bass – played by Downing himself.
Leslie Dala, music director of Bach Choir, says he approached Downing about the score after collaborating with him on other silent film projects. He says it’s thrilling to be staging the event at the venue because its roots are in cinema.
“The Orpheum was originally a vaudeville house,” says Downing. “They would screen films there around the same time the movie would have been released. It’s like travelling in a time capsule.”
Vancouver Bach Choir presents The Phantom of the Opera takes place on April 20th, 2013
Tickets are between $25 – $59 (Student & Senior discounts available)
Order them online at www.vancouverbachchoir.com/tickets or by phone at 604-696-4290