I have been a Harry Potter fan for a long time. I’ve seen all the movies multiple times (in the theatre and at home) and am currently reading all the books with my kids. To say that the excitement of the series has worn off over the years is an understatement. That said, seeing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performing the film score live took things to a whole new level and blew me away.
Against a warning from house-elf Dobby, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) heads to his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to discover that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened and a snake-like Basilisk is on the loose petrifying students. Harry and his best friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) look for clues to try to catch the monster and close the Chamber for good.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second part of the Harry Potter series. The film, directed by Chris Columbus, came out in 2002 and surprisingly holds up very well on the big screen. It was the last Harry Potter film with Richard Harris as Professor Albus Dumbledore (Harris passed away before the film opened) and it introduced the lovable house-elf character, Dobby. Kenneth Branagh played celebrity Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, and if you’ve read the book you know he nailed the part.
Seeing the film with a live orchestra performing was a truly unique and magical experience. My kids, who just saw the film at home for the first time a few months ago, were on the edge of their seats totally absorbed by it. There were even moments where the hair on my arms stood on end I was so wowed over it all. A lot of people came dressed up as their favourite character and the conductor encouraged the audience to cheer and be loud. As someone who has seen the film at least three times before, it was a brand new experience and I highly recommend checking it out.
Two things I will note since I was asked about both. Yes, you can hear the dialogue of the film as the orchestra plays. They also include the English subtitles, which I thought was a nice touch (especially when the crowd was cheering). There is also a 15-minute intermission in the middle.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets In Concert screens at the Sony Centre for Performing Arts on October 13 and 14. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sonycentre.ca. A performance of the third film in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is scheduled for May 16 and 17.
Have you seen a Harry Potter film in concert? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.