A world first at Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
May 10, 2011
The performing arts are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage audiences. This week saw the premiere of Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic - A Musical Journey in 3D, a concert filmed in high-definition 3D and screened at cinemas around the world. The venue for this groundbreaking performance? None other than the spectacular 1,600-seat concert hall at Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay in Singapore, designed by Theatre Projects.
With superb adjustable acoustics, the concert hall was the perfect setting for the Berlin Philharmonic's performance of Mahler's First Symphony and Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
During the concert, the cinema production combines shots of Singapore, the Esplanade's concert hall, and close-ups of Rattle and the orchestra, giving cinemagoers the impression that they're sitting right among the orchestra and a part of the action.
Stanley Dodds, a violinist with the orchestra, comments: "Nothing of its kind has ever been done before. It gives the feeling of being in an orchestra. When you see the winding tubes of a horn, or a very nice old Italian violin in 3D, you feel you could touch it. You can observe the concentration and intensity of the musicians' facial expressions and body language." The film's director, Michael Beyer, adds "The change between the two settings 'orchestra' and 'Singapore' reacts to the tunes, the tempi and the dance impulses of Rachmaninov's score. Chinatown, breathtaking Western architecture and the Hindu temple in 3D together with all aspects of life, work, leisure and spirituality make the spectator believe that he is not only an observer, but in the middle of music and life."
The 3D concert production is a cinema first, and is being screened in cinemas around the UK between 9 and 17 May 2011. It is hoped the production will replicate the success of other performing arts cinematic screenings around the world, including productions at London's Royal Opera House, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
To see the offical trailer for Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic - A Musical Journey in 3D, click here.