Watch Star Wars with a live orchestra at Place des Arts this weekend
Ever wonder what it would be like to watch Star Wars with a live orchestra? Now's your chance.
The FILMharmonique Orchestra is performing Star Wars: Return of the Jedi In Concert in Montreal this weekend.
The iconic 1983 film will be screened at Place des Arts with a live orchestra performing the powerful score by composer John Williams.
During the shows, Conductor Erik Ochsner is at the centre of a music maelstrom that blends technology, humanity -- and a Wookiee. The performance is brought to life by an Imperial Orchestra, 85 members strong.
"You're able to see the entire process happening," said Ochsner. "You'll hear all the sound effects and dialogue like you would in the theatre or at home... but we're performing the entire, complete soundtrack live, synchronized to the film."
The percussion section alone has 45 instruments. Musician Sandra Joseph knows them all and says the score allows her to play passages that are out of this world.
"We play all of the percussion instruments: vibraphone, xylophone, and also drums. And in that particular movie, we have a lot of African drumming going on because of the Ewok section, so it's very busy for us -- but in a good way!" she said.
A good way to get people interested in orchestral music is to add pop culture.
"The goal is really to introduce audiences to symphonic experiences," said Francis Choinière, president of GFN Productions. "A lot of the audience that we get in-house, 50 per cent have never seen a symphony orchestra before, and so presenting a concert like Star Wars in Concert or Lord of the Rings, like we did, brings in new people to the concert hall to have nice live experiences together."
Members of the orchestra do not don costumes, but folks in the crowd do. Star Wars superfans, the 501st Legion, will be in the lobby in costume for photos before each performance.
This is your chance to see Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine at Place des Arts.
"Goosebumps and tears are not optional, so if somebody tells me after the show, 'I got goosebumps!' or, 'I was crying.' To me, that's my ultimate success," said Ochsner. "Film music is meant to move people, and that's our job. How can you not be moved by the music of John Williams?"
Tickets start at $80 each. Shows take place May 19 and 20.