Array of radiotelescopes in front of a mountain

Sydney Symphony Superdome Spectacular 2003

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The Sydney Symphony Superdome Spectacular has now become an annual event. Three shows of popular orchestral music held in the true centre of Sydney – Homebush Bay’s Superdome. This is supposedly one of the Symphony’s few chances to “connect with ordinary people” rather than their usual art snobs.

Beatrice and I attended the same event last year and we both agreed that the inaugural concert was better. Yes, I enjoyed the Bolero, Kats-Chernin’s Deep Sea Dreaming from the Olympic Opening Ceremony and Westlake’s Cudmirrah Fanfare, which Beatrice said sounded like the introduction for a TV sports program. Orff’s O Fortuna from Carmina Burana is always exciting, but too short, and the 1812 was actually played better this year. However, for me there was too much opera (in my opinion any opera was too much, but there was extra opera this time). I don’t think that people that enjoy modern music and tone poems are necessarily the same as those who enjoy opera. Thankfully, my childhood experiences of opera played in the background on the radio helped me to ignore the horrid sound and think of other things.

My greatest reason for attending the concert, the chance to hear some John Williams music played live, also ended in disappointment with the choice of Harry’s Wondrous World from Harry Potter. I could have chosen over a hundred of his other compositions that I would rather have heard, as I find the Harry Potter soundtrack rather bland in comparison to his other work, especially the main themes. Last year’s Throne Room and Finale from Star Wars was far more energetic and received thunderous applause. It depresses me greatly that Williams is not taken more seriously, and I enjoyed both last year’s Superdome Spectacular and the Melbourne Symphony’s rendition of Jurassic Park and Williams’ Tuba Concerto far more.