Going out to see a symphony is not something I am all that accustomed to. I’ll be the first to admit it. Was I in for a surprise.
To be honest it’s the subject of the music that caught me eye and ultimately my ear. What better way to give myself an introduction to a full orchestra then to sit in on music that has been with me since my earliest days of watching movies. The music of James Bond.
On to the stage comes conductor John Morris Russell to cheers as he takes his place in front of the talented musicians assembled for the nights showing. Animated, energetic and engaging I think are all choice words that could be used in describing what he brought to the performance. Here I expected to sit back and watch a stuffy man wave a baton in the air while twiddling my thumbs and listen to the many main themes of Bond flicks including the patented opening theme we have all heard at some point in our lives. Fans of Bond films or not.
What I wasn’t expecting was an interactive night where Mr. Russell regaled us with stories and some of the history and trivia associated with Bond films and their music. Self appointed film historian that I am I began to listen attentively. I won’t even begin to challenge his knowledge of the music and composers involved in the films though I heard one false note about a certain Scotsman. I can’t help it, I’m a buff.
Keeping the themes of spy films or Spy-Fi as it was referred to, the night also included themes of Peter Gunn, Mission Impossible and getting the audience to snap their fingers along, Henry Mancini’s famous opening to The Pink Panther films. This Clouseau nut so badly wanted to start running off Peter Sellers lines at this point of the night. “Do you have a phern I could use?”
The biggest surprise of the night came when many of the themes played on the show included vocal accompaniment. I had thought it was strictly going to be the musical instruments playing out songs like Goldfinger and Live and Let Die.
Singer Ron Bohmer came to the stage and covered songs like Live and Let Die and Thunderball and also the new recording Writing’s on the Wall which is to be the featured song in the upcoming Specter.
It’s singer Capathia Jenkins that should be issued a license to thrill with an amazing voice. She belted out Skyfall, Surrender, Tomorrow Never Dies. She brought life to Diamonds Are Forever, covered The Look of Love and sent us all home after closing with a beautiful rendition of Nobody Does It Better.
Though I may not become a frequent visitor to a night at the symphony, I think it fair to say that I wouldn’t automatically dismiss the idea next time. Especially if I find out that Miss Jenkins will be lending her voice to the proceedings.