Last night I was lucky enough to attend a concert at the Orange County Performing Arts Center's beautiful new concert hall in Costa Mesa. The building seems spun out of air with its imposing height and sculptural outline, an extension of the older building's modern look. The concert hall itself reminded me of Antonio Gaudi's organic looking sculptures with the rounded line of its seating and levels, but the planes of bright color (turquoise and pink) added to the striking effect. Most impressive was the enormous organ, which took up an entire wall, higher than two houses set on end. And the sound that came out of that organ was as big and awe-inspiring as its appearance.
This was a Halloween performance, one night only, of an organ concert with a showing of the silent film, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the original, with Lionel Barrymore.
Though I taught the novel last year (that awful summer semester my parents died), I had never seen that particular filmic version of the tale.
It was most impressive how the organist, a lively fellow in a tux and top hat, followed the action of the film so exactly with just his Ipad for a guide, since his back was to the film, and he sat high up in the organ's bowels, above the screen. Experiencing this, I could see why those who doubted the newfangled technology of film sound might have done so. The combination of film and music was so seamless!
I thank Shirley Horowitz, an old friend from synagogue, who so generously contributed these tickets so that I and others from the synagogue could attend this performance.