Giveaway: Opening night of Casino Royale in concert
For the first time ever in Canada, audiences will be able to experience James Bond on the big screen accompanied by the power of a full symphony orchestra.
In partnership with Civic Theaters Toronto, we’re giving away two tickets to opening night of Casino Royale in concert on October 11, including reserved seating at the Behind the Curtain pre-show talk featuring Toronto Film Critic and TV Host Richard Crouse and Conductor Evan Mitchell. Total package worth over $250.
To enter, follow Bay Street Bull’s Instagram account (@baystbull) and tag the person you’d like to bring along in our latest post. Winners will be chosen at random the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 9th, 2018.
Directed by Martin Campbell, Casino Royale brings us Bond at the start of his career, having just earned 00 status and his licence to kill. It also marked Daniel Craig’s first appearance as the legendary MI6 operative. Audiences will be able to experience Bond on the big screen accompanied by the power of a full symphony orchestra, performing composer David Arnold’s thrilling musical score live and in sync to the picture.
Enter on our instagram to win tickets to the Opening Night of this exclusive movie-going concert experience at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. The exclusive series will be run for two nights until October 12th.
Rules and regulations: Prize includes two tickets to Casino Royale in Concert on October 11, 2018 at 7:30PM plus reserved seating at the 6:30-7:00PM pre-show talk in the lower lobby of the Sony Centre. Tickets cannot be exchanged and are not redeemable for cash. Approximate retail value $250. Transportation and accommodation not provided.
For now, here’s a conversation with conductor Evan Mitchell on performing live, bringing in new audiences, and the state of symphonic music in Canada.
What are some unique challenges working not only with film, but with such an iconic film?
The challenge of working with this film is the same as working with any sort of film. The upshot is that there’s consistency. The film is going to be the same every time. The downside is that it’s relentless because it’s the same every time, and if you get a little behind or a little ahead, the film does not accommodate you. As a conductor you sort of have to prioritize yourself to make sure, first and foremost, that you are properly executing this score at the right point at the right time. I have an obsessive personality so I really enjoy that aspect of it. If my timing and the orchestra’s timing ends up being more or less perfect for the whole film, I feel like a million bucks.
Looking at the iconic aspect of a film such as this, I would say that there is —not necessarily added pressure— but the added desire to really do justice to something that is beloved and well known. And so that heightens the experience: knowing that you are realizing something that millions of people know and love.
As a conductor, do you any advice on leadership?
Leadership, first and foremost, is about honesty to oneself. There are an awful lot of different ways in which that people can lead. Leadership style X might work for person X but not for person Y. However you choose to lead should be informed by who you are as a person. Leadership is also about a collegial and communal experience, even if you happen to be leading it, and in charge. The more you’re able to be true to yourself, the more you’re going to be able to work in compatibility with the people you happen to be leading.
How do you handle the pressures of performing live?
I’ve been very lucky; I don’t really suffer too much from performance anxiety. I have found that there is too much to focus upon and I just don’t have the brain resources to allocate anything for fear. I get out there and it’s just, Let’s do the best we can. It happens very quickly. Particularly with the film concert, it’s that extra level of the preciseness and synchronization. I just focus on the task at hand and trust the amazing musicians that make up the orchestra are going to cohesively make a wonderful experience for all of our audience members.
For an event like this, who is the target audience?
It’s really easy to forget with the production of many of these iconic films that the musical score, which is brought to life by talented orchestra musicians, is often something that plays such a perfect supportive role that when you’re watching the film and taking it all in, you don’t even really notice the impact that it’s having. One of the benefits of having it done live is that there is no missing it. So simultaneously, you’re drawn more into the music and you’re able to get a greater appreciation at the same time for how much the music contributes to the final product. That’s a great thing, audiences of all kinds. Hopefully they’re able to, at the end of it, gain a greater appreciation of what the symphony does to help make this movie as good as it is.
What do you feel about the current reception towards symphonic music in Canada?
No matter how you slice it —and this is a good thing— going to a symphony concert involves some effort, time, and a modicum of planning. We live in a society of convenience. Literally right now on my phone, I can order a bubble tea for a five dollar delivery fee to show up at my door in fifteen minutes with a couple of clicks of my thumb. How do you [compare] that with an experience where you need to physically go out of your home, sit down in a darkened room, and let the music wash over you.
We’re able to slow down, just a little bit, and focus and enjoy something and really feel like we’re living when we have shared musical experiences. We’re constantly trying to find new audiences, and I think the live in concert film score package, everybody wins with that. That’s a great way that orchestras are staying current and contemporary.
How do you work on getting new audiences interested in the symphony?
What I find is the biggest hurdle is that we at the symphony are fighting a war on perception. People will think, “Oh symphony tickets are so expensive, that’s just what I’ve been told.” It’s not true, they’re really not that expensive. I’ve had a lot of people throw that in my face. And I say, “How much did you pay to go see the hockey game the other day?” And then of course that’s sort of a reality check about paying 25 or 30 dollars for the symphony, where you have an evening of great art in front of you, really is a cultural steal. “I don’t know how to act.” You know if you’re worried about when to applaud, it’s okay, then you just wait for other people to applaud. “What do I wear to the symphony, it’s so elitist.” No it’s not, you can wear a t-shirt and jeans. I’ve seen people wear leather jackets and green spike-y mohawks to come see Mozart’s Requiem.
The key to that is to increase musical education, and give symphonic music exposure to young people because even at a very young age, they can make up their own minds. And not everyone who hears a young person concert at the age of five or six is going to go on to become a superstar violinist, but will many of them gain an appreciation that can last a lifetime? Certainly, that has been my experience and that has been a great gift.
What’s a dream project to work on in the future?
I think The Emperor Strikes Back is the best film score of the Star Wars series to date. And I’m a huge John Williams fan, while I personally feel as though his best film score is E.T., which I have done and it was magnificent and such a pleasure to do. The Star Wars films are so important and were the very beginning of John Williams’ sort of sweeping symphonic traditions. I would really love to do those.
This interview has been edited and condensed.