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, we asked conductor Tobias Ringborg for his personal highlights.
"One day, in the late eighties, a friend of mine presented to me the late Charles Gerhardt’s epic recordings of classic Hollywood film scores that had just been released on CD. I was totally swept away by this super romantic music! In particular the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold spoke incredibly strongly to me - it was the music I had been dreaming about. And suddenly it was there!
"In From Hollywood with Love, we present several examples of Korngold’s music, as well as works by other Central European composers for whom Hollywood was the safe haven that literally saved their lives from the Nazi-infested Europe of the thirties and forties. They all became pioneers in creating what we today refer to as American film music, which then in reality is based on the rich, late romantic idiom of Europe.
"My personal favourite is Korngold’s The Sea Hawk, since it was my very first encounter with Korngold’s film scores, with its brilliant brass introduction and sweeping string phrasing setting a perfect backdrop to this famous pirate adventure.
"Of course the comparison between Korngold and his great successor John Williams is inevitable – before we perform Williams’ music for Star Wars, we play a short piece by Korngold, which most likely was the direct inspiration for Williams. And finally, we leave Hollywood to go to Italy and Nino Rota – his timeless music for The Godfather."
Acclaimed Swedish conductor, violinist and Opera North favourite Tobias Ringborg leads the Orchestra of Opera North in From Hollywood with Love, at Huddersfield Town Hall on 25 January and Leeds Town Hall on 4 February. Tobias will also perform the violin solo on John Williams' theme from Schindler's List at the concerts.
Tobias Ringborg photographed by Ryan Garrison