by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved
Well, not even a year ago if you would have told me I would be in Australia, I would have been just as surprised then as I am now! Once the reality set in (whenever that was), one thing for sure I wanted to see here (besides grand baby Felix, his Mom & Dad and the animals of Australia) was the Sydney Opera House. I would have been glad, just to see it from the outside and with a further glad, to seeing it inside. I spent several hours on line at http://theoperahouseproject.com/ looking at a timeline of the making of this beautiful architecture. I invite you to click on the link above, do yourself a favor and do the same thing! It is interesting, informative and awe inspiring!!
WOW, were we in for a surprise! Surprise and excitement is really an understatement!!! Why? Well not only would we see outside and inside of ‘The House’ we were treated to a whole day downtown Sydney, a fabulous dinner of fresh oysters and on-and-on, and tickets to a live performance of the world-class Sydney Orchestra and choir! Did I mention or emphasize enough the word, “LIVE’?!”
“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
Powerful, spine chilling and epic. Ridley Scott’s blockbuster, Gladiator, comes to Sydney for its world premiere, and the film score will be performed live in concert by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Lisa Gerrard.
The Sydney Opera House will transform into the Roman Coliseum as Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard’s sweeping and dramatic score, among the all-time favorites, is brought to life by a full symphony orchestra while the movie is played in high definition live on the giant screen above.
Gladiator, winner of five Academy Awards, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Score – Motion Picture follows loyal Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe – born in New Zealand, but now an Australian citizen), who is betrayed when the emperor’s ambitious son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), murders his father and seizes the throne. His family dead, and reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his emperor.
soundtrack to: ‘Gladiator’
Now I have seen this movie a couple of times previously, but NEVER like this! There was an intermission where you could move about, get something to drink, go outside and etc., but OMG, by the start of the rest of the movie, I kind of got lost into the music itself and the vocals from the choir and the lead vocals from Lisa Gerrad that actually performed on the original soundtrack for the movie. The timing and the volume and the acoustics of the opera house were incredible!
The performance received and was much-well-deserved of a long, standing ovation! And by the way, the people of Australia generally and genuinely love to dress up when they go out. It was nice to see this!
Many years ago and even before my time, 🙂 the first movies were black and white and before the “talkies” (movies with sound), background music was performed by a sole pianist, some other musician, musicians or a small orchestra. Our experience at the Sydney Opera House was like a trip back in time. By this I mean, the old becoming new again. Obviously we cannot go to the movie, rent one or buy one and expect like “fries come with that,” to count on a live symphony and chorus to show up. But WOW, wouldn’t it be great if this was the common thing!
For me, I have never appreciated the importance of music in a film as much as I now do! And it was just beyond words to express my gratitude for this experience, for the incredible seats and to not only hear this music “live,” but to see the musicians as they played and the vocals as they were sung by such a world-class orchestra, choir and the vocalist that sung on the original soundtrack. All together, this was perhaps a lifetime experience being first in Australia, 2nd in this theater, 3rd to experience the movie/live music/visual display acoustics and to share this with my best friend and the love of my life! And I am thankful that Jonathan and Caitlin our ‘gifters,’ were here to join us and that they had some much needed time together. A big shout out to Wendy that took care of baby Felix, so they could enjoy date night! 🙂
I do apologize for some of the pictures above as they are not to my satisfaction. I have been having some difficulty with my camera recently. Also, the favorite digital media card for many professionals and me is compact flash. Unfortunately, it is a terrible design for downloading via a card reader to my computer. Before I left for our trip, I bought a new card reader so I could download my pictures to our laptop. Yesterday, the pins got bent and I had to get a new reader today. Today was raining so I spent it recouping my energy, and catching up with pictures and posts. I will need to address my camera with perhaps something new after we get home and I find some money or knock out all my teeth so the tooth fairy can visit me big time! 🙂
Sydney Opera House is a marvel of vision and construction. I believe I am correct in saying that each year, Sydney and Australia celebrate this icon in what is called, ‘The Lighting of the Sails.’ This year, the event starts on May 23 through June 9th, 2014. I would love to be here for this, but we will already be home. Each year it is different. I will close with a beautiful picture from http://vividlive.sydneyoperahouse.com/lighting-the-sails/?gclid=CO-Ph9Pixr0CFQUJvAodA7IAIg and two (2) YouTube videos, highlights from 2013 and 2012. If possible, crank up the volume and watch these FULL SCREEN! Enjoy! 🙂
‘Lighting the Sails’ 2013
‘Lighting the Sails’ 2012