Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in Concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – Live Review

There are many films in the Harry Potter series and The Order of the Phoenix is definitely up there as one of my favorites from the franchise. Add in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and you have a match made in heaven! I have been looking forward to the latest in the MSO’s Harry Potter Concert Series all year and was absolutely ecstatic when the time finally arrived.

Right from the moment the full orchestra swung into the Harry Potter opening title theme I was instantly captivated and knowing the film so well, I found my gaze fixed upon conductor Benjamin Northey. Conducting a live film is no easy feat, having to hit the key moments to the millisecond and with nothing but the score and a tiny screen, with what looks like Guitar Hero for conductors, to guide him, Northey executed Nicholas Hooper’s score flawlessly.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is probably the darkest in the whole franchise. After witnessing the death of Cedric Diggory at the hands of the Dark Lord, Voldemort, Harry feels more alone than ever. Nobody can possibly understand what Harry experienced when Cedric died in his arms and to make matters worse, the Ministry is out to suppress the news of the Dark Lord’s return, leaving Harry to feel isolated. However with the rise of the students against Dolores Umbridge, Harry finds comfort as he leads the newly formed Dumbledore’s Army as they learn to defend themselves against the Dark Arts. Effectively becoming the 5th Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher of Hogwarts.

There is something truly special about hearing a film score live and how it adds so much more emotion and weight to the actions unfolding on screen. From the uplifting happy themes of Potter’s arrival at the Order’s Head Quarters where he is reunited with friends and loved ones, to the nasty and villainous tones of everyone’s least favorite headmaster, Dolores Umbridge. I have seen this film so many times and have always despised her character, now even more so after witnessing her actions unfold with the power of a full orchestra behind her.

I am thoroughly enjoying the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Harry Potter Concert Series. I come away from each film with a new perspective and I’ve picked up little things that I have missed previously. It is most definitely something each and every one of you should experience at least once.

The final performance of The Order of the Phoenix is on Saturday evening. If you are unfortunate enough to miss out, then you have no excuses for missing The Half Blood Prince in May 2020 as you have plenty of time to grab yourselves some tickets!

For more information and ticketing visit the MSO website: https://www.mso.com.au/whats-on/2019/harry-potter-and-the-order-of-the-phoenix/

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