"Phantom" in the Berkshires

Well, folks, I'm off to Tromsø again tomorrow, and am quickly filing this report on the Aug 23 show of Phantom of the Opera at the New Marlborough Meeting House's Music and More series, curated by Harold Lewin. This year was the rain check for last year's show – which got unbooked by the series because of scheduling. What wound up working out in everyone's favor is that the meeting house's vintage reed organ was now in working order! David Hosford, also President of the New Marlborough Association, was there at my load-in and told me the organ was now working. Even the blowers were running (so no foot-pumping necessary). David had rebuilt the organ, removing mouse nests, releathering things etc etc, and the instrument sounds terrific. I used my digital keyboard for piano for most the film, and switched over to the reed organ -- which had some really big sounds for something its size -- for the scenes when Erik the Phantom plays the organ. It was really effective. I made sure to tell the audience about all this before the show, so they wouldn't get distracted by the instrument switch when it happened.

Here you see our pair of Elmo 16-CL's set up in the back of the meeting house, which is an historic building over 100 years old. The projectors are nice and bright -- both have 2-blade shutters (33% brighter than standard 3-blades). My daughter ran the projectors and as usual did a great job staying in focus, framing, and switching from one machine to the other at the reel break.

Below is a panorama shot from the balcony/choir-loft that I made by taking three pics and joining them in photoshop. Click on the image to see it bigger (you'll see one of the joins is a little sloppy. Sorry...)

Gotta go make sure I've got everything I need for the trip all set to go. Will post festival reports and pics, as I have the last two years.

See you at the silents!

Ben Model
silent film accompanist

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