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Return of the Rings

The symphony takes on the trilogy's music.


During the last few weeks, orchestra members have been frantically trying to locate instruments such as Hardanger fiddles, Japanese drums and Irish whistles. Choir members have been perfecting their "Elvish." And original concept and storyboard artwork from all three "Lord of the Rings" movies has been traveling the country en route to Richmond.

All of these efforts will be combined in a gala event directed by Terry Edwards at the Landmark Theater. Edwards, director of London Sinfonietta Voices and Chorus, conducted all choral sections in the three original film soundtracks.

Created by Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore, The Lord of the Rings Symphony is truly a blockbuster event. The music is taken from all three "Rings" movies and divided into six movements — with two being dedicated to each movie.

But it's not just the music that makes the concert worth attending. It's the entire take-away. From the preconcert party to the New Line Cinema's original storyboard artwork by Alan Lee and John Howe that will be projected behind the orchestra as the story of the hobbits' journey unfolds, the night is a celebration of everything Middle Earth. Even during intermission, there will be costumed guests from the Renaissance Festival as well as face-painting for kids.

With more than 200 performers participating, it's an event that's sold-out in cities across the country. Richmond Symphony violinist Susanna Klein already has her ticket. In fact, she's so excited about it that she's opted to attend instead of participate.

"'The Lord of the Rings' were my favorite books when I was a kid," Klein says. "When I saw the movies, I was so overpowered by the visuals, and I'm looking forward to really listening to the music and hearing how much I remember."

If the success of the show elsewhere is any indication of how audiences will react in Richmond, it's sure to be an evening filled with enchantment and style — as only something "Lord of the Rings" could bring you.S

The Lord of the Rings Symphony comes to the Landmark Theater May 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$80. Call 262-8003.

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