I was so excited to date my youngest boy Jordan to watch this show, The Bear accompanied by The Malaysian Philharmoic Orchestra. The orchestra was conducted by Harish Shankar. I always love MPO’s Family Fun Day, not only because I can bring my boys to enjoy it but also the lighter format of how things are presented.
Conductors are not only great in waving their wands, but they are actually really great presenters. Harish lifted the mood of the hall and captured the attention of all the young ones. Harish is the Winner of the 6th International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition, he has been featured in Classical Music Magazine, interviewed on BBC Radio 3 and performed in the UK, Germany, Czech Republic and Finland.The performance started with him showing us the different sections of the orchestra. From the strings to the brass, to the percussion, all of us learned something new that day. Jordan now 5, particularly love the orchestra and actually asked me about all the instruments on the stage. He was also extremely pleased with the appearance of The Harp. The Harpist played us a short verse from Beauty and the Beast soundtrack solo and I was totally mesmerised by the beauty of this 50kg beauty. All I can say is the Harp sounds heavenly.
We watched the animated film The Bear, produced in 1998. This is a story based on Raymond Brigg’s book and was first aired on a television in the UK on Christmas Eve in the same year. Its beautiful musical score is written by British composer Howard Blake, who wrote other film soundtracks such as The Snowman, Flash Gordon and Amityville. The film is about a polar bear which got separated with his family and living in captivity at a zoo until a bubbly girl named Tilly accidentally drops her teddy bear into the bear’s pen. While crying in the night, Tilly is surprised but happy when the polar bear turns up at her home to return the teddy bear. The friendship between the two characters blossomed from then on. The storyline was very magical and fantasy like. All children and adults young at heart would enjoy it as the bear took us on a ride into the stars.
The movie played like a silent movie on screen while the live orchestra played the soundtrack to it including all the sound effects. They orchestra was so spot on. So accurate that I was totally transfixed on the movie and forgot about the orchestra. The performance also featured soprano Gan Charmaine, tenor Jason Khoo, bass baritone Chi Hoe Mak and narrator Joseph Pruessner, who provided the voice for the animated movie. Their voices were just flawless and permeated the air effortlessly. Jordan sat without moving throughout the whole performance.
All in all, MPO never fails to deliver another high class performance that both kids and adults can enjoy together. It was definitely heart warming to see many parents bringing their children and spending time together enjoying something educational as well as fun like this. I am definitely looking forward to the next outing with my boys to the orchestra together.
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