Harry Potter Film Concert Series – Chamber of Secrets (Review)

Harry Potter Film Concert Series
The Harry Potter Film Concert Series made its way to Southern California at the Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. This stop on the tour was for a screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second film in the epic saga. It was accompanied with John Williams’ live score performed by the Pacific Symphony.

This was my first experience seeing a film with a live score. I’ve been to see the symphony before and used to that setting – everyone in fancy dress sitting in silence during the performance. This was a bit more casual with families and fans alike. Some dressed up in their favorite house robes and scarves adding a special sense of homecoming to the evening.

The movie began screening as promised on a 40-foot HD screen above the symphony in Segerstrom Hall. It didn’t seem to take up the entire wall as you would expect in a movie theater. But from my seats in the orchestra section, it was a great view. Subtitles were left in since some of the dialogue was faint against the live music. This was favorable since audiences were able to really enjoy the live dynamics of the performance. The audience cheered when characters like Ron and Hermione first entered the scenes bringing everyone together in nostalgic celebration.

The musical performance was so good I was really trying to see if they left in a track that they were playing over to fill in the sound. It sounded like the music was coming from an orchestra three times the size. As a trained musician myself and having seen this movie possibly dozens of times, I was amazed how closely they covered the score. I tried to watch the performers as the movie played in the background, trying to take it all in. But I’m always finding myself getting drawn back into the movie. Giving in, when I allowed myself to just take in the experience and not analyze how they did it, I enjoyed it so much more.

Upcoming Performances

The Harry Potter Film concert series is making its way around the world. It’ll be screening every film in the franchise with symphonies local to each region. Beginning last year, the series is now up to the third film The Prisoner of Azkaban. If you missed this magical evening at the Segerstrom Concert Hall, don’t worry. Because there are three more screenings in SoCal taking place in July at the Hollywood Bowl. You can catch Chamber of Secrets July 6th at the Hollywood Bowl followed by Prisoner of Azkaban July 7th and 8th. Ultimate Potter fans can make plans to spend the day at the Wizarding World in Universal Studios Hollywood before heading to the Hollywood Bowl where the concert screenings are taking place each evening.

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers.

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