Guest post by SuperBreak’s Jamie Monday…
Ennio Morricone is a name that in my experience draws a blank look from most. But, with a career in film soundtracks spanning over 50 years, from 60s Spaghetti Westerns like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, right up to modern classics like Kill Bill, you’ll probably know his work even if you don’t know the name. When I got word he would be taking his orchestra on a rare tour that would include a date at the O2 Arena in London I jumped at the chance to be the SuperBreak representative at the event. With the maestro turning 87 this year there won’t be many more opportunities to see him conduct in person.
My company was my old friend and fellow music snob Jack. We got to the arena early and had a few drinks in the newly refurbished Amex Bar in the VIP area (which is well worth a visit), then made our way to our seats in time for the 8 o’clock start. The theme of the evening was ‘My Life In Music’ so obviously we were to expect material from throughout Morricone’s long career. No expense had been spared to do his work justice, with an 86 piece orchestra and a 76 piece choir to accompany him. The first set did not disappoint, opening with a piece from The Untouchables, continuing into the themes from Once Upon A Time In America and Once Upon A Time In the West and ending with several pieces from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. A soprano was even employed to perform The Ecstasy of Gold.
During the short intermission my friend and I were racking our brains to think what would be played in the second set, as we’d already heard most of the ‘hits’. Obviously though someone who has scored over 500 movies is never short of something to play, with Morricone going on to treat the audience to equally choice material from more obscure films like Casualties of War, The Battle of Algiers and Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, before closing with 3 pieces from The Mission which really utilised the choir. The audience response was rapturous and Morricone and his orchestra returned for 3 encores, finally ending with a reprise of On Earth As It Is In Heaven from The Mission.
Almost 3 hours of music and not a dull moment. All in all a once in a lifetime event I’ll never forget!
Have you seen any live events at the O2 Arena in London recently? Let us know using the comments box below.