By Vanessa Kwok
Photos by Chrispics and Metropolitan Festival Orchestra
Following a highly successful performance last year, the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, the Vocal Associates Festival Chorus and Children’s Choir presents the orchestral sequel to Peter Jackson’s film, based on J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings – The Two Towers at The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre. Returning to Singapore for its Asian Premiere after an overwhelming response last year, more tickets were available this year to attract a larger audience.
The second installment was set to wow with the live performance of Howard Shore’s soundtrack simultaneously with the movie projected on a massive screen. Conducted by Justin Freer, more than 250 musicians, with vocalist Rosalind Waters and boy Soprano Samuel Yuen, took on the complex score.
As the 5,500-strong audience returns to Middle Earth to the scattered Fellowship, they will experience the flawless union of the orchestra and the blockbuster. The bows of the string section move in such unison, especially during gripping moments like when Gandalf finally reaches Helm’s Deep with reinforces (Théoden Rides Forth). The orchestra and choir were at full strength, with boy Soprano’s angelic voice. Deciding on whether to concentrate on the movie or the live performance was hard, as both were so riveting.
Throughout the film, some of the most dramatic moments were during horse scenes like the appearance of Shadowfax (The White Rider) and Brego rescuing Aragorn (Aragon’s Return), when the Ents decided to seek revenge at Isengard (The Entmoot Decides) and Haldir’s death (Retreat).
Apart from the show, Saturday’s first show was particularly unforgettable as a proposal took place during intermission. MFO’s violinists Alan Choo, David Loke and Gabriel Lee serenaded lucky girlfriend, Charlotte, with Ronan Keating’s “When You Say Nothing At All”.
Now, let us look forward to the third and final chapter of the trilogy from MFO!