Thursday, June 21, 2007

PLAY! at the Opera House

It's a good thing that after weeks of raining, it didn't tonight. Would be bad if I had to walk from Circular Quay all the way to the Opera House in the rain. Got to the concert hall with minutes to spare.First thing I noticed is the presence of three huge screens onstage. One in the middle, just below the organ, and a smaller one on each side. The concert hall is almost at full capacity. Interestingly, the concert website is still offering an online special offer of $44 for all tickets for today and tomorrow.

Grammy Award-winning conductor Arnie Roth walks on stage and the concert opens with a light fanfare composed by Nobuo Uematsu specially for the PLAY! concert. A few opening remarks from the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Chicagoland Pops, then the orchestra played the familiar and much-beloved Mario Brothers theme. A bit slower than LSO's version, but still very nice nonetheless. While the orchestra plays, visuals from different versions of Mario Bros. are projected on the big screens. See below for the programme (as I remembered it):

  • Mario Brothers - Gave me goosebumps when the orchestra played the opening bars.
  • Shenmue - Got the Xbox version. Played it a couple of times. Thought it (the game) was a bit dragging.
  • Lost Oddyssey - New game from Nobue?
  • Sonic the Hedgehog - Knew the character, never played the games. Great visuals, very very nice soundtrack.
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Blue Dragon
  • Kingdom Hearts - Arranged by Mr. Roth himself. The Cantillation choir provided the vocal backing.
  • Final Fantasy VI (Dancing Mad) - Another big number with the full orchestra, choir, and the pipe organ all playing at the same time.
  • Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
  • Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross
  • World of Warcraft
  • Silent Hill 2 (Theme of Laura) - Composer Akira Yamaoka flew in specially to play this piece on his electric guitar. Electrifying performance.
  • Halo - Another familiar score as I've been playing this for months on the Xbox. Still stuck at the last stage where my warthog is supposed to jump over a chasm.
  • Castlevania - And the pipe organ's back.
  • Zelda - Another classic.
  • Final Fantasy VII (One-Winged Angel) - As the encore piece. Seems to be very popular with the gamers in the audience. New to me.

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