Here is the first part of my report. Sorry I didn't post it sooner. second half to follow soon.
Enjoyed the flight flying business, breakfast was a ham and cheese croissant and orange juice. Read the paper and hey presto I was in Sydney. (I used my husbands frequent flyers point of which he has heaps as he goes OS a lot for work). Decided to get the city hotels bus to my hotel, to save on the cab fare. This was pretty good and got to my hotel in half an hour. The hotel was pretty swish but I was expecting it to be a little closer to the harbour and Opera House. Had about two hours before the concert so had a shower, got dressed and then decided to take a leisurely stroll through the botanical gardens on my way to the Opera House. I wanted to arrive early so I could pick up my ticket and scout around for the fountain we were meeting at.
It was quite sunny but with a very cold wind. I managed to work up a bit of a sweat though as I had my big thick coat on. The gardens were beautiful and I was amazed by all the bats and what a racket they make. Arrived at the Opera House and immediately found the car that Lantherien
had mentioned. This was good, as I could see no sign of the supposed fountain we were meeting at. I went in and picked up my ticket. Already (about an hour before the start of the performance) there were quite a few people milling around. Many of them were looking about, obviously meeting up with friends. I wondered if these were any fellow TORCers, did they have a particular look about them that marked them as true Tolkien believers rather than just film fans? I did a circuit of the opera house and still didn’t see a fountain.
I was now a tad concerned but as we had all exchanged mobile numbers I knew I could still contact the others if a fountain failed to materialise. I headed down toward the restaurant section near the quay. I thought I’d grab a bite or at least a cup of tea. Trundling up the road I found the fountain, it had been camouflaged as a round-a-bout and only spurted water intermittently. No wonder I had missed it. Out of the sun, the wind was bitter, I made the executive decision not to stand on the fountain as it was rather exposed to the weather and there wasn’t really any room for pedestrians. I took up point duty in a café opposite and ordered a tea. I then texted the other TORCers informing them of my position.
First to show was notlistening
. We said hello and then she hurried off to pick up her ticket. Not much later Samaranth
came up together. They spotted me and we greeted each other. We headed back to the opera house hoping to catch notlistening
on our way. It was far too cold to hang out at the fountain and it was 30 minutes to the start of the concert. We had not yet seen midgardsormen
but we figured we would get a call. We went inside, lots of people were around now. I looked at these people again with the critical eye of a TORCer, I don’t know what I was looking for but everyone looked normal. I ducked back outside to see if I could find notlistening
and spotted her coming back our way. We meet up with the others, got programs and prepared to go in.
We arranged a place to meet at interval and split up as we all had seats in different spots. I was very proud of my spot; B20, which was second row of the circle, bang in the middle. I went and sat down. It wasn’t long before the seats were full and the lights went down. My tummy gave a flutter as the first chords of The Prophecy
began. The music swelled, the choir of some one hundred voices filled the space with that familiar haunting melody. At that instant I was so glad I had been able to come. There is nothing like live performance, especially of work that you are intimately familiar.
The first movement comprised of; The Prophecy, Concerning Hobbits, The Shadow of the Past, A Short Cut to Mushrooms, The Old Forest
and A Knife in the Dark
. The pieces were not exactly as they are on the CD and not everything was performed, but the selection melded well together. The choral, brass and percussion work were fantastic live. The second movement started with the beautiful choral work of Many Meetings
. Closing my eyes I could imagine autumn scenes of Rivendell. Opening them again I looked up to see wonderful images projected onto the vaulted ceiling of the Opera House. This really was lovely. The second movement continued with The Ring Goes South, A Journey in the Dark
and The Bridge of Khazad-dûm
. This left me in tears, as usual. One of my favourite scenes in the movie is at the end of this sequence where the Fellowship are paralysed by their despair over the fall of Gandalf. David Bruce, the treble soloist and the children’s choir did brilliantly. We then moved into Lothlórien, Gandalf’s Lament, Farewell to Lórien, The Great River
and finishing with The Breaking of the Fellowship
. The last finished with David Bruce and In Dreams
. This was beautiful and very well performed. David’s pitch was excellent and although he struggled slightly with the phrasing, this did not detract from the overall impact. The audience erupted into applause and the first half was over. I sat for a while to let the eager beavers out and then when to find the others.
tinewen, notlistening, celebalqua & Samaranth
Notlistening, celebalqua, Samaranth & tinewen