Experience Roy Budd’s score to Rupert Julian’s 1925 silent film version of The Phantom at the Opera for one-night only at the Barbican 18 March 2019. The evening will be the second ever and only performance of one of the late all-time great British musicians, Roy Budd’s finest work. All the funds raised from the production will go to helping rid the world of polio.
In the summer of 1993 renowned composer and jazz pianist Roy Budd’s score for Rupert Julian’s classic 1920s silent film, The Phantom of the Opera, was to set be performed in London. Then he had a brain haemorrhage. Nearly a quarter of a century later his widow, Sylvia, fulfilled his dream and Budd’s masterpiece score to the 1925 Phantom of the Operawas performed at the London Coliseum on 8 October 2017, featuring the 77-piece orchestra. The performance received a resoundingly positive response from critics and audience alike.
Another one-off performance of Roy Budd’s masterpiece will be performed at the Barbican on 18 March 2019- the very same venue it was originally meant to be screened at 25 years ago. It will once again be performed by the magnificent Docklands Sinfoniaorchestra and led by Conductor Spencer Down. Since its formation, the orchestra has enjoyed incredible success with performances at Buckingham Palace for the Queen and with world-renowned classical artists such as Alison Balsom, Leonard Elschenbroich and Elin Manahan-Thomas.
The Phantom of the Opera represents the apex of the career of a man who not only bought the last surviving 35mm negative of the film he adored since the age of 11, but who made his debut at the Coliseum aged 6 and went on to compose the score of the seminal 1971 gangster movie Get Carter, starring Michael Caine. The music budget was a mere £450, but Budd, along with a bassist and a percussionist, recorded a spine-tingling harpsichord motif which is now iconic. Among more than 50 other films scored by Budd were Paper Tiger, The Sea Wolves, Who Dares Winsand the 1971 version of Kidnapped
Adapted from Gaston Leroux’s gothic novel, Rupert Julian’s The Phantom of the Opera tells the twisted tale of a mysterious recluse (Lon Chaney) who tutors a soprano at Paris’s Palais Garnier opera house while hiding a nocturnal penchant for chandelier-related slaughter. The film has been digitised and very subtle colour added throughout, with one critic noting last year that the restored film is a work of art.
18, March 2019
The Barbican, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS