PHANTOM OF THE OPERA HAUNTS THE SOROYA IN REAL TIME

11.27.18
Richard Kaufman
Broadway World

What a Holiday treat! A wonderful combination of an authentic classic silent and gripping movie, "The Phantom of the Opera," (Universal Studios, 1925) played on a jumbo screen coupled with live organ expertise and opera singing, the original score, the superb New West Symphony and the conduit that blends it all together, the Conductor, Richard Kaufman.

Dennis James, the world's foremost theater organ expert, played on the rare Allen theatre organ as CSUN alum Richard Kaufman returned to conduct. The gold, ornate pipe organ was strategically placed downstage right, where it's full volume and impact could be heard and felt.

At the helm was conductor Richard Kaufman. His direction of the deliverance of the score was the secret to such a wonderful evening. It was all bigger than life, between a wonderful score being played, live, a pipe organ accentuating every dramatic moment, which resounded throughout the theater, and the classic movie itself, with one of Lon Chaney's most famous performances. And just the sheer theatricality of the elaborate makeup, costumes, sets, acting and plot.

The score is exciting and dramatic from beginning to end. It is pompous, grand, rich in putting across the intense emotions and danger that the characters on screen are silently emoting, and filling the theatre with bombastic and stirring sounds that get right under your skin. The live organ really added an extra dimension to the sound and feel of the score.

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