HCMC – Two splendid nights of film music are on offer from HBSO on July 11 and 12 at the Saigon Opera House.
Tran Nhat Minh will conduct the HBSO Orchestra and Chorus in music from Harry Potter, Legend of the Fall, The Lion King, and many more favorites.
Soloists Pham Khanh Ngoc, Dao Mac and Tang Thanh Nam, plus Vo Ha Tram and Ho Trung Dung, will also take to the stage for these very special events.
Elmer Bestein’s music for The Magnificent Seven (based on the Japanese classic The Seven Samurai) will open the evening, followed by Hans Zimmer’s music for Gladiator.
John Williams wrote the scores for Harry Potter films, and a Symphonic Suite based on that music follows. Hans Zimmer then returns with his music for Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.
No concert of film music would be complete without a contribution from Ennio Morricone, and these two events will feature his music for La Califfa, with Pham Khanh Ngoc as vocalist. La Califfa was a 1970 French-Italian co-production directed by Alberto Bevilacqua about organized labor. The title in English means “The Lady Calif”.
A highlight of these events will surely be Dao Mac singing Freddie Mercury. He will present “Don’t stop me now” from the film Shaun of the Dead. Dao Mac has recently made a specialty of singing colorful character roles far removed from his usual operatic parts.
Even so, the concerts’ climaxes will be medleys based on Louis Armstrong’s What a wonderful world (from the movie Finding Dory), complete with the HBSO Chorus, and Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight from the film The Lion King.
Nevertheless, these climaxes will only come after a long program of superlative items.
In addition to those already mentioned, there’s Dao Mac singing ‘Mi Mancherai’ from the film Il Postino (The Postman) and Vo Ha Tram singing ‘Speechless” from Aladdin. There are excerpts with solo violin from Fiddler on the Roof and the theme melody from Legend of the Fall. Tom and Jerry make an appearance in ‘Blue Cat Blues” to conclude the first half of the concert.
Vo Ha Tram reappears with ‘Into the Unknown’ from the film Frozen, and a number of additional items, still to be confirmed at the time of writing, will flesh out the program.
Film music is an important ingredient of the classical repertoire. Shostakovich, Prokofiev and many others have written for the medium, and there are few famous movies that don’t have their musical elements.
The popularity that these concerts are anticipated to have is shown by their being scheduled by HBSO for two performances rather than one at the Saigon Opera House.
Of their very nature, concerts of film music are inextricably cross-over events. Leonard Bernstein, though not represented in the schedule this time, both composed film music for movies such as On the Waterfront, and was also the conductor of the finest version of Verdi’s opera Falstaff on record.
Tickets for these exceptional events are from VND450,000 to VND900,000, with a special concession of VND150,000 for students. The concerts begin at 8 p.m.
By Bradley Winterton