On a chilly evening under the stars, Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts presented the conclusion of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy of films with live orchestra. The past two summers have seen performances of the first two films, which this reviewer unfortunately did not get a chance to attend. However, this performance of the Academy Award winning concluding film made me yearn to turn back the clock to see what I had clearly missed.
Howard Shore composed an epic score for these films filled with beautifully appropriate themes to illustrate various characters, locations and events. What a live performance of the score permits the audience to enjoy is the sheer amount of performers needed to provide a full symphonic accompaniment to the film.
It takes approximately 300 performers from the symphonic sounds of the Filene Center Orchestra, The City Choir of Washington, the Fairfax Choral Society's Children's Choir, to two amazing soloists all under the capable direction of Ludwig Wicki.
The boy soloist, Nolan Peters, is a member of the Boy's Choir of St. Paul's in Washington, DC. He performed the treble solos in last year's performance of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and brings confidence and pure tones in his youthful voice to the demands of his part.
Kaitlyn Lusk, vocal soloist, has been the featured soloist for performances of The Lord of the Rings Symphony since 2004. She made her debut singing with the Baltimore Orchestra in 2003 at the age of 14. She has a wide range easily handling the Tolkien languages, the soaring tones of the operatic soprano sections and brings beautiful poignancy to the Academy Award winning original song, Into the West, which ends the film.
Unfornately there are only two performances of this film and the second one is this evening, September 11, 2010. So, if you did not get a chance to see this event, you can join me in the loss I feel from missing the first two installments of this ambitious project.