Music is magic, especially when it is playing to a Harry Potter film. The Houston Symphony is performing the musical score for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” this weekend.
The cultural phenomenon waltzed its way into Jones Hall with wands in hand. Potterheads applauded not only at the conclusion of a musical score, but when beloved characters uttered their favorite lines in the movie.
The film came out 14 years ago, but seeing it with a live orchestra is a completely different experience than watching it in a movie theater or binging the Potter series at home. A live orchestra made me realize how much the soundtrack makes the wizarding world come alive. The music sets the mood for every enchanted, perilous scene.
John Williams masterfully composed the music. He has given us the sounds of some of the most immersive and adventurous worlds in film, from Harry Potter to Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones. For this particular movie, the score earned an Oscar nomination.
Conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos kept the music in perfect sync with the movie, which is impressive. With a live orchestra, the scores are louder than the typical movie soundtrack, but I could still hear the dialogue of the film. With the movie playing on a high-definition 40-foot screen above the orchestra, I watched the musicians less than I usually do during a symphony concert.
On the stage behind the Houston Symphony musicians, the Houston Symphony volunteer chorus performed the sung parts of the soundtrack. Hearing them sing “Double, double, toil and trouble….” fed the soul of my inner witch.
Whether you belong to Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, you will enjoy this concert-movie experience. Feel free to dress the part. On opening night, concert-goers showed their house pride by wearing their Hogwarts uniform or declared their fandom citizenship with their favorite Harry Potter t-shirt.
Although this particular concert is not eligible for student discounts, tickets start at $49. The remaining trips to Hogwarts in this concert series take the nine and three fourths station on Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 17, at 2:30 p.m. This is the third installment of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series at the Houston Symphony, and I hope that the Harry Potter and company come back to Jones Hall next summer.