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Orchestra to play along for second chapter of Harry Potter film series

Courtesy Universal Studios.
Published Oct. 2, 2017

Coming off a weekend when muggles snapped up enough tickets for four shows of live orchestra music played alongside a showing of the first Harry Potter film, the Florida Orchestra announced Monday that the second film in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will get also the live score treatment.

Accio wallet!

The orchestra will perform John Williams' score while the entire film plays in high-definition on a 40-foot screen at two shows Dec. 28-29 at Tampa's Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $49-$99 on sale at 10 a.m. Oct. 20 at strazcenter.org and at noon by phone at (813) 229-7827 or in person at the Straz Center box office.

The idea proved so popular the first time around that the Straz Center kept adding shows until there were four this past weekend, with fans of all ages showing up in their finest dress robes. They squealed with delight as the familiar theme played as the opening credits rolled.

The score for Chamber of Secrets brought us musical themes devoted Dobby the House Elf and Moaning Myrtle. Fun fact: the conspiracy theme associated Lucius Malfoy is based on a similar theme John Williams wrote for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series has been a big hit so far, playing hundreds of performances across more than 35 countries through 2018.

It's a good chance to introduce new fans to classical music, said John Jesensky, who conducted the shows that ran Friday through Sunday in Tampa.

"I think pop culture concerts are important for the same reason I think they're popular," Jesensky said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. "It's an introduction to the orchestra for so many people. These days you don't have a lot of people who know famous composers or classical musicians. But so many people watch Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. It's a chance to experience the orchestra for the first time in a way that's exciting for them. They come out to listen to their favorite music and then realize the power of it. It can create a new generation of film music and orchestral music lovers."

Times staff writer Chelsea Tatham contributed to this report. Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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