Elder Park. 3 March 2012
Ennio Morricone, the cream of this year’s very impressive Adelaide Festival line-up, kicked off the Festival as its official opening night performance.
Italian composer Ennio Morricone is well-regarded as the most successful and influential film composer of the twentieth century. With hundreds of television and film scores under his belt and numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards and two Golden Globes, even if you have never heard of Morricone, you will not doubt be familiar with his music. Think The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Untouchables, The Mission and In the Line of Fire.
Sadly in an organisational bungle the show was scheduled on the same night as a Clipsal 500 race. In what felt like only mere metres away sounds of decelerating vehicles permeated their air like a swarm of annoying blowflies buzzing around your head. Over an excruciatingly embarrassing 30 minutes, Morricone, his international guests and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra competed with the ugly drone of racing cars, and many heads were shaking in disgust.
Notwithstanding Morricone being such a major drawcard, and it taking more than 7 years for his visit to be organised and scheduled, many organisation issues abounded. The accompanying screen side of stage flicked on and off intermittently throughout serving as more of a distraction than an enhancement, and most unfortunately, the pre-paid hampers for sale on the night ran out, leaving high and dry some who had come empty-handed expecting to pick up their accompaniments at the venue.
Despite the issues, Morricone took to the outdoor stage in Elder Park with accompaniment from international touring guests, including Soprano Susanna Rigacci, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Chorus – and was amazing. In a program split into five sections and we were treated to highlights from some of Morricone’s greatest scores.
Watching the sunset over the Torrens to a soundtrack of orchestral mastery was a wonderful experience. Once the noise from the Clipsal had ceased and the city quietened down for the evening, one could see the setting that organisers had not doubt envisioned for us.
It’s a shame the audience couldn’t have experienced that from the beginning, or that the production could not have been started even 30 minutes later, but all in all, a magical night of music from master composer.
Where: Elder Park