When snow’s in the air and a fire’s on the hearth, not much could be more satisfying than cozying up to watch a thrilling Harry Potter movie. Except, perhaps, watching one of the wildly popular films with hundreds of other costumed fans while an 80-piece orchestra performs the score live.
The Colorado Symphony will do just that, performing the full score of the fifth installment of the young wizard’s adventures, 2007’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall. It’s a collaboration of the Symphony, CineConcerts and Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The series stops in Denver as part of a tour of select cities around the globe.
“The Harry Potter Film Concert Series has been a Colorado Symphony audience favorite since we began the series in January 2017. Each installment has drawn huge crowds to Boettcher Concert Hall, and it’s always a hot ticket with fans of all ages,” said Tony Pierce, chief artistic officer for the Colorado Symphony.
The story finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) in a tough spot during his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Few in the wizarding community believe that the evil Lord Voldemort has returned, and the Ministry of Magic wants to keep that news under wraps. Harry is to prepare a group of students to defend the school.
The orchestra will match the sweeping and dramatic compositions that accompany this story line as it unfolds on the big screen.
Assistant conductor Bertie Baigent will view the film on a small screen synchronized with the big screen seen by the audience so the musicians can watch him for cues. Baigent’s screen includes “streamers” and “punches” — lines and circles that identify tempo changes, downbeats and other important moments in the score, Pierce said. The musicians follow the conductor for their cues.
Each Colorado Symphony season includes a number of Movie at the Symphony performances.
“In the past few years, in addition to the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, the Colorado Symphony has accompanied live screenings of films including ‘Star Wars: A New Hope,’ ‘Home Alone,’ ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and ‘Jurassic Park,’” Pierce said.
The Denver audience is encouraged to dress up as their favorite witch, wizard or evil lord.
“We’ve seen some incredible costumes over the years, and we’re always impressed by the creativity of our patrons,” Pierce said.
MICHELLE KARAS, THE GAZETTE, MICHELLE.KARAS@GAZETTE.COM