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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert

Produced by the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and Attila Glatz Concert Productions, the Harry Potter Film Concert Series continued this past week with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The concert series features the film on a big, movie-theatre screen and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra playing the score live in the forefront. Much like in the first film, John Williams’ epic score is pure magic, and taking it in live along with the film, in the company of 3000 Potterheads, makes for an enthralling Harry Potter experience.

In Chamber of Secrets, Harry is back with the beloved Dursleys for the summer, counting down the days until he returns home to Hogwarts. After he ignores an ominous warning delivered by the ever-popular Dobby about danger lurking at school, Harry finds his way back to Hogwarts only to find that indeed, danger does await. The Chamber of Secrets has been opened, students are at risk of petrification and death, and it’s up to Harry, Ron, and Hermoine to confront the dark forces terrorizing their school before it’s too late.

Before the show begins, conductor Joshua Gersen encouraged audience members to react freely to the film and acknowledged the emotional connection so many have to the story and characters. After a Hogwarts house cheer-off, in which Hufflepuff was surprisingly competitive, the music and the film began. It seemed a few muggles had attended the first show of the series in June as the crowd seemed more than ready to cheer, boo, laugh, and yell at the screen. Breaking all the rules of movie-going is just another part of the Harry Potter concert experience.

The film and the score, in addition to being immensely enjoyable, are also packed with an intense sense of nostalgia. There were people of all ages in attendance, some having just read the second book for the first time, and others unabashedly revisiting their youth. The film was released in 2002 and unlike many films from that era, the filmmaking, the story (thanks JK!) and the music hold up wonderfully.

The film played to a packed house for an exclusive three-night event, but the good news is there are more films in the series. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban comes to the Sony Centre May 16-18. Tickets: http://www.sonycentre.ca/

Dani Saad

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. Unless you're Harry Potter in which case you'll lose... everything.