The Business Times - Watch 'The Two Towers' with live soundtrack

This article was published in The Business Times on 6 June 2014.

IF you're afraid to admit the number of times you've watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy, fear not. Here's another way to indulge while raising your cultural profile.

This weekend at The Star Theatre, a special screening of The Two Towers will be accompanied by nearly 300 musicians on a stage, who will perform the entire film score live while audiences watch the show.

This is the second time such an event will take place, with the first being a similar screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring last year.

That concert was also performed by Singapore's Metropolitan Festival Orchestra (MFO), and it saw an impressive attendance of over 7,000 people.

On why they decided to do part two of the show as well, Chan Tze Law, music director of MFO, says it's simply because of popular demand. "Plus, it is MFO's mission to regularly bring Singapore audiences orchestral offerings that are making waves around the world."

For this year's concert, they have once again invited American conductor Justin Freer, who also did last year's show and was keen to repeat the experience.

Prof Chan says: "I, like many around the world, became fascinated with Tolkien's stories and characters when I was a small child. I adore the musical colours and textures that Howard Shore created for The Two Towers, and of course it's impossible not to fall in love with Gandalf once again when he returns from the 'dead'."

Performing with the MFO will be vocalist Rosalind Waters, the Vocal Associates Festival Chorus, the Children's Choir and boy soprano Samuel Yuen.

It's a mean feat to be conducting such a massive score, especially for such a famous movie, admits Freer. "It is both humbling and exhilarating. . . Due to the sheer amount of music, the vast number of tempo and meter changes and the demand of having to keep everything tightly together over the course of multiple hours, this project comes with a sense of heavy expectation," he explains.

But in the end, what he hopes to do is to give audiences a different experience of this well-loved film, and that this unique presentation format will help more people be aware of the power and impact music can have on film.

"It is our responsibility to communicate to the audience through Howard's music the myriad of emotions, thoughts and actions coming from the film. If even one person walks away from this concert with a newfound appreciation for film music as an art form, then I would have done my job well," he adds.

'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' will be screened today at 7.30pm and tomorrow at 1pm and 7.30pm at The Star Theatre. Tickets cost from $28 to $188. Log on to for more information or to purchase tickets

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