Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Starlight Symphony

I still have a few hours before my first class, so I may as well ramble a bit about the concert I went to two nights ago. It was an annual event called "The Starlight Symphony" and consists of ~200,000 people flocking to the main part of the Auckland Domain (the biggest park in Auckland) and listening to the Auckland Philharmonic and various New Zealand talent perform great works of music. It's all for charity too, so it's free beyond whatever donations you feel like giving.

Well, it was just great. You have no idea. First of all, they were rather careful in the program selection so most of the music was as well known as your old friends, such as Mozart's Overture from The Marriage of Figaro and O Sole Mio. (They also did some more recent music, like Bridge Over Troubled Water and Good Vibrations and such.) They also did a lot of cool stuff: for example, they did a laser light show during the Star Wars theme and everybody stood up to waltz during the Emperor Waltz. Pomp and Circumstance was cool too: remember how technically we're all loyal subjects of the British Empire down here? Well during Pomp and Circumstance we had to stand up and sing Land of Hope And Glory, which made me smile because there's something amusing about people singing the patriotic songs of a country half a world away.

The big finale at such a venue, of course, was Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture complete with cannon and fireworks. So so so cool!!! To all my classical music friends back home, you would've loved the entire evening. I missed you!

As a final note, guess who showed up right after intermission on the stage? Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Now let me ask you this: have you ever been to a country where the person holding the highest office in the land casually strolls into your classical music concert? And have most people look on with passing interest because she probably has nothing else to do and does stuff like this all the time?

I love this country.


Karen said...

That sounds awesome - I would have especially enjoyed the laser light show with Star Wars! Did the lasers depict images from the movies or something?

Yvette said...

Nah, they just looked awesome. That was more than enough. :)