As the Orchestra of Opera North fires up for a swashbuckling, heartbreaking, intergalactic programme of movie themes, From Hollywood with Love at Huddersfield Town Hall on 25 January and Leeds Town Hall on 4 February, presenter Andrew Collins looks forward to guiding audiences through almost a century of symphonic music on the edge of its seat.
“Playing two hours of the best film music every week on Classic FM is a dream job. But to host a live show with an ensemble as pre-eminent as the Orchestra of Opera North at venues as fine as these is icing on an already iced cake.
“You can tell the story of the 20th century through the film music in this concert. From black-and-white to Technicolor with Korngold’s swashbuckling score for Captain Blood, to Max Steiner’s epic romantic sweep for Gone with the Wind; from the 1950s glamour of Hitchcock’s North By Northwest and Bernard Herrmann’s locomotive score to the crowd-pleasing fanfares of John Williams in the 1970s and 80s.
“There’s something magical about hearing North by Northwest in Huddersfield, the birthplace of James Mason. He proved an urbane villain in the film, chasing Cary Grant’s ‘wrong man’ from New York to Mount Rushmore.
If I had to pick a favourite piece from Opera North’s superbly varied programme, I think I’d go for the Warsaw Concerto, composed by the prolific Richard Addinsell for the 1941 British wartime romance Dangerous Moonlight, which concerns a shell-shocked Polish airman played by Anton Walbrook who reconnects with his past via his own unfinished symphony.
"Addinsell’s piece enjoys a life beyond the film in its own right, and I think it acts as a kind of metaphor for all film music, which is able to transport us back to the time we first saw a film - that’s certainly true for the Pavlovian response the Star Wars theme invokes in my generation! - and provide a bridge between the present and the past. With a programme spanning 70 years, I can’t wait to experience Hollywood with Love!"
Writer, broadcaster, Radio Times Film Editor and Classic FM's resident cineaste, Andrew Collins joins the Orchestra of Opera North and conductor/soloist Tobias Ringborg for From Hollywood with Love at Huddersfield Town Hall on 25 January and Leeds Town Hall on 4 February.