The complete METROPOLIS – A Gala event at Place Des Arts


Montreal, June 29, 2010. Seldom has the rediscovery of a cache of lost footage ignited widespread curiosity as did the announcement, in July 2008, that an essentially complete copy of Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS had been found. This prompted an incredible year-long restoration project, the results of which will be unveiled for the first-time in Eastern Canada this summer, at Fantasia. Featuring over 25-minutes of new material (1,257 shots, including entire new sequences), the complete Metropolis will be screened as a special gala event at Place des Arts’s 3000-seat Wilfrid Pelletier theatre on July 28. For this special night, internationally renowned silent film composer Gabriel Thibaudeau has written a new score for the feature, which he will perform with a 13-piece orchestra live at the screening. It will be a fantastically historical night in every sense of the word!

Notes on the music for Fantasia’s METROPOLIS event by Gabriel Thibaudeau:

For the last 22 years I have been resident pianist and composer for the Cinematheque québécoise. METROPOLIS is one of the first films I played to.

Writing a new score for this film represents, for me, a long cherished dream. The film’s modern feel and visual treatment lends itself well to experimentation and is a pure joy to create sound for!

How to express musically the class struggle and dialectic that are the foundations of this work? By utilizing not one, but two chamber orchestras! Quite simply, at stage left the orchestra represents the elitist spirit of the city through a string quintet and keyboard. At stage right a brass quintet with organ will form the second orchestra, symbol of the strength of the workers in the subterranean city. The percussion section in the centre will form a link between the two worlds/ensembles.

For this two and a half hour performance, specially commissioned by the Fantasia Film Festival, the majority of movements will be precisely written and perfectly synchronised with the images on screen. However, certain passages will be more free, created live through “Soundpainting”, a technique of improvising from coded gestures used by the conductor. – Gabriel Thibaudeau

THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS will be unveiled July 28, 7:30PM Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Places des Arts.

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