DSSO to play 'Jurassic Park' score live, with movie, Aug. 19
The Symphony Hall concert will see the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra performing the entire John Williams score during a screening of the 1993 blockbuster.
DULUTH — Come summer, fans of prehistoric thrills will once again be flocking this way.
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center has announced the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra will perform the score to "Jurassic Park" while the movie plays on a big screen at Symphony Hall on Aug. 19.
"This summer is the 30th anniversary" of Steven Spielberg's 1993 blockbuster, noted DSSO Executive Director Brandon VanWaeyenberghe. The orchestra also "had a really great success with our concert back in February celebrating John Williams," who composed the "Jurassic Park" score.
DECC visitors seem to love dinosaurs, VanWaeyenberghe added. Last summer saw the animatronic dinosaur show Jurassic Quest sell so many tickets, organizers had to confirm there wasn't an accounting error. If ticket sales are that strong for the DSSO's "Jurassic Park" presentation, VanWaeyenberghe indicated, there's a possibility of adding a second performance.
The August concert won't be the first time the DSSO has performed a live film score. The orchestra did "Psycho" in 2012 and "The Wizard of Oz" in 2015. Tackling a (relatively) contemporary blockbuster, though, enters new territory.
Although the DSSO has long performed at the DECC, this film presentation marks a new level of collaboration between the orchestra and the municipal venue. The concert isn't part of the DSSO's regular season, and ticketing is being handled by the DECC.
At a Monday morning news conference, DECC Executive Director Dan Hartman explained the financial considerations at play.
"There's a real upfront cost to purchase these scores and do this experience," said Hartman. "If it wouldn't be (for) the financial backing of the DECC," combined with the skills of the DSSO artists and staff, Hartman continued, "this would never be a reality."
The show has been "almost two years in the planning," said VanWaeyenberghe. Guest conductor Jason Seber will lead the performance, which involves headsets for all the musicians so they can follow along precisely in tempo with the original score recording.
"There is no chance for alteration," VanWaeyenberghe explained. "When the T. rex starts moving, you have to move with it."
Over the past decade, live-to-picture movie score performances have become a hot trend for orchestras around the world. Technological developments have made such performances feasible in a way they previously were not, and the film concerts tend to sell well — including among movie buffs who find Hans Zimmer to be a more compelling draw than Joseph Haydn.
"The Minnesota Orchestra does these all the time," said VanWaeyenberghe. "For us to take the leap to do something like this is really great for our community."
Tickets to the "Jurassic Park" performance go on sale to the public Friday, with presales available earlier through the DECC and the DSSO. For details, see decc.org.
This story was updated at 12:46 p.m. April 10 to add images and information from a news conference. It was originally posted at 7 a.m. April 10.