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, Olympics editor (news)
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Royal Albert Hall will bring the music of West Side Story to life in special 50th anniversary screenings of the film.
West Side Story, which won 10 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Music, will be shown on the big screen at the Hall in high definition, with The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra performing the music live on stage at four screenings this week.
The film chronicles the love story between Maria and Tony against the backdrop of a bitter battle between two gangs, the Sharks and the Jets.
The seminal score by Leonard Bernstein features songs including America, Somewhere and Tonight.
Jasper Hope, chief operating officer at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “West Side Story is an iconic film musical known and loved the world over and the Hall offers these live orchestral performances as part of the world-wide celebrations of the film’s 50th anniversary.
“Half a century after its release, West Side Story is still regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made.
“These exclusive anniversary screenings, accompanied for the first time ever in Europe by the live performance of one of the greatest scores ever composed, will introduce this timeless classic to an entirely new generation.”
Paul Epstein, executive vice president of The Leonard Bernstein Office, said: “The brilliance and crispness of the brand new Blu-Ray print, together with the visceral excitement brought by a full orchestra of over 85 musicians, right there in the Hall with you, will make this experience of West Side Story one that you will never forget.”
The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will be conducted by Jayce Ogren, who has recently worked with the BBC Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic among others.
West Side Story is at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm. There will be matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm.