Film Symphonic: The Phantom of the Opera with Frank Strobel
Carl Davis, music for The Phantom of the Opera (with a live screening of the 1925 movie by Rupert Julian)
1920S HORROR MOVIE
German conductor Frank Strobel is a pioneer of film concerts. In this concert he conducts the score composed by Carl Davis in 1996 to accompany the American silent horror film The Phantom of the Opera.
In the early 1920s, New Zealand director Rupert Julian conceived the idea of filming The Phantom of the Opera, a book by Gaston Leroux. For the title role, he called on Lon Chaney, who had recently played The Hunchback of Notre Dame and was known for his innovative makeup. This is quite an understatement, because when the ghost revealed his skeletal face on the big screen at the 1925 premiere, the audience literally screamed. In addition, the pompous masked ball, the clatter of the huge crystal chandelier and the grotesquely sinister haunted world under the Paris Opera House also made a strong impact. Thanks to several restorations, the film is still a must-see classic today.
During the film screening, the Belgian National Orchestra will play a new score by Carl Davis. This American conductor and composer has written musicals and operas, made a name for himself with his music for BBC television programmes and has also written numerous film scores for The Great Gatsby, Mothers & Daughters and The Understudy, among others. Composing new music for silent films is another of Carl Davis’ specialities: in addition to The Phantom of the Opera, he also wrote the music for the DVD releases of Ben-Hur, Safety Last and Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights (arrangement).
Frank Strobel, conductor
© Photo by Universal Pictures
A conductor whose international reputation is built on repertoire of unusual stylistic diversity. Frank Strobel has long been recognised as a leading figure in the space where film meet music.