This Halloween’s Eve, Sunday, October 30, 2016 (6 pm), will see a fabulous live-to-picture concert at The Cabot in Beverly, Massachusetts. Last June, the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra presented the film Varieté to great acclaim and now the orchestra will offer the 1925 silent film classic, The Phantom of the Opera, with original music composed and performed by the BSFO. The beautiful jazz-age theatre, The Cabot, built in 1920 and revived in 2015 and is now seeing many standing-room-only crowds at its concerts. The theatre is located at 286 Cabot Street in Beverly, Massachusetts. Tickets to this marvelous and unique live music/silent film production ($30, $25 & $15 for students and seniors) are available at http://www.thecabot.org. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes if they so desire!
Directed by Rupert Julian, The Phantom of the Opera stars Lon Chaney, Hollywood’s “Man of 1,000 Faces” as Erik, the horribly disfigured phantom who leads a menacing existence in the catacombs and dungeons beneath the Paris Opera House. When Erik falls in love with a beautiful prima donna, the master musician kidnaps her and holds her hostage in his lair. One of the most discussed – and unnerving – films of all time, Phantom gets a turbocharged, new life from the 12-member Berklee Silent Film Orchestra’s spectacular, modern score, including a bravura soprano vocalist.
Described as “nothing short of thrilling” by American film critic Leonard Maltin, the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra is dedicated to composing new, original scores for silent feature classics, and performing them live-to-picture. Based at Berklee, in the world’s first undergraduate degree program in film scoring, the student orchestra composes its new works and performs as an ensemble, under the leadership of Professor Sheldon Mirowitz (Outside Providence, Missing in America). To date, the BSFO has scored and performed eleven iconic silent features including F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise, Faust, and The Last Laugh, Clarence Badger’s It, Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, Buster Keaton’s Our Hospitality, E.A. Dupont’s Piccadilly, and Varieté, and Rupert Julian’s The Phantom of the Opera, each of these commissioned by the Coolidge Corner Theatre’s Sounds of Silents program.
In October, 2015, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, under the baton of maestro Keith Lockhart, performed a new score to F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, written and orchestrated by Mirowitz and his BSFO composers. The silent film concert, the first ever performed in historic Boston Symphony Hall, played to a sold-out house, and a four-minute standing ovation.
The recipient of a special commendation from the Boston Society of Film Critics, the BSFO has performed to wide acclaim at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Nantucket Film Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and a half dozen other major film and performing arts venues.
The Coolidge Corner Theatre’s Sounds of Silents was launched in 2007 with a mission to present classic silent cinema on the big screen, accompanied by a live original score and performed by outstanding musicians. Since 2010 the initiative has commissioned ten original compositions and their premiere performances from the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. The collaboration between the Coolidge and Berklee expands on the Sounds of Silents initiative, providing funds to commission the compositions and a performance.