18 January 2011

Hong Kong Sinfonietta | An Afternoon with Fantastic Creatures


On Sunday we were treated to an afternoon of magical music.  My friend, G, invited both Josh and me to listen to the Hong Kong Sinfonietta do Alasdair Malloy’s Fantastic Creatures.  I was a bit apprehensive as to how Josh would do sitting through an entire program of just orchestral music.  He is not one to sit still.  He fidgets.  He squirms.  He taps.  He is… a boy.  He didn’t disappoint.

Happy-Josh(Edit: I have no shots from the concert. I’m using this one from a trip to Ocean Park so that this post won’t be photo-less.)



What I didn’t expect was how much he thoroughly enjoyed the concert.  Yes, he did all the things I knew he would do.  He even got up and danced in the aisle (!) until an usher came by and asked him to sit down.  He had a blast, as much a blast as a boy could have at an orchestral concert.

What made this concert special and unlike the many that I’d attended with my parents when I was a child is that this particular concert is filled with magic.  Magic in the chosen pieces, which ranged from classical music by Strauss and Stravinsky to the more modern Under the Sea (from The Little Mermaid) by Alan Menken.  Magic in the way the music is woven together, in how each number is presented.  Throughout the concert, Alasdair Malloy, dressed as a wizard in purple robes with matching pointy wizard hat, engaged the audience –in turns introducing the pieces and the instruments, getting the children to stand up and wave, getting the grown-ups to do some silly bits as well, playing an instrument or two himself. 


Some of the members of the orchestra got into character and wore glittery wigs and pointy wizard hats, adding to the fun and magic of the concert.  Even the conductor, Lio Kuokman, got into the act by making his entrance in wizard robes and pointy hat.  He also gave a quick mini-lesson on how to conduct and got the audience conducting along with him.

All in all , it was a truly magical, thoroughly enjoyable, and amazingly fun concert.  Josh, –who, during bedtime prayers we sometimes have to wait a long time for him to just think of something for which to be thankful, –immediately said, “Why, the concert, of course!” when asked what he was thankful for that night.

Thank you, G!

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