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Orchestral Live Cinema returns

Tuesday 20th June 2006

There is a phantom in the Opera House - Orchestral Live Cinema returns.

After one year’s absence, orchestral Live Cinema will again be part of the Telecom 2006 Wellington Film Festival and be performed in its new venue The Opera House.

“Thanks to the support of the Wellington City Council and The Opera House, the Film Festival and the Vector Wellington Orchestra are able to collaborate once again” says Bill Gosden.

“What better way to return than with one of the silent era’s perennial popular hits,
The Phantom of the Opera, with its thrilling score composed by Carl Davis, a doyen of contemporary composers for silent film,” he adds.

The Festival lost its live cinema venue when the Embassy Threatre’s orchestral pit was removed during the cinema’s refurbishment at the end of 2003. In 2004 the Festival showed Buster Keaton’sSteamboat Bill with the then Wellington Sinfonia performing behind the Embassy screen: not an ideal scenario. Last year Wellington missed out on an orchestral live cinema performance, while Auckland enjoyed the powerful Russian classic Battleship Potemkin.

A large cinema screen will have to be temporarily installed in The Opera House to show the
early benchmark in movie horror, which is still imitated 80 years later.

The 1925 cinematic adaption of Gaston Leroux novel was directed by Auckland-born Rupert Julian. Restored in 1992, this definitive version includes the full colour Masque of the Red Death sequence that reportedly had Jazz Age audiences gasping in their seats.

The Phantom of the Opera is just one of the many highlights on this year’s programme, which draws from a pool of over 150 features, documentaries, animated and short films hand picked by the Festivals’ programmers over the last year from around the world.

The entire programme will be announced in Wellington on Thursday 22 June.
Pick up a FREE Festival programme from Ticketek, Paramount, Embassy Cinema, cafés, information centres, libraries or visit

The Telecom 35 Wellington Film Festival opens Friday 21 July and runs until
Sunday 6 August.


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