*video courtesy DisneyMusicVEVO
It was all my little girl could talk about for the four months leading up to Halloween, she was going to be Ariel. Her fascination with Disney’s The Little Mermaid began about a year ago when I dug up some of the Disney classics I loved as a kid and we watched them together. It’s hard to believe the movie is 31 years old but it still holds up. There’s just something about the music that brings out the kid in all of us.
The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s music director Eric Paetkau has seen the connection these shows have with the audience first hand.
“We’ve built a good relationship with Disney over the past few years and The Little Mermaid seemed like a great next step after having done the Disney highlight show last year, which included a few Little Mermaid numbers,” says Paetkau. “Shows like this include the whole family and combine something that a lot of people know (the film) with a live symphony orchestra. The orchestra adds an extra layer and gets people excited about the whole experience.”
“Shows like this include the whole family and combine something that a lot of people know (the film) with a live symphony orchestra. The orchestra adds an extra layer and gets people excited about the whole experience.”
This show will feature the orchestra playing the score to the entire show as the film is screened behind them. All the dialogue and vocals will be from the original movie but the music will be live. Keeping in time with the movie, especially when they audience knows what it’s supposed to sound like seems daunting to me but Paetkau takes it all in stride.
“There’s no more pressure than usual. Disney does an excellent job of being thorough with all of the details needed to put on the show, musical and otherwise,” he says.
As the movie plays out, Paetkau has a special “click track” in his ear to keep the orchestra in synch with the film. Paetkau also has the movie playing on a laptop next to him during the performance to use as a reference. He says careful rehearsal is key.
“When we do our job as an orchestra of preparing well and playing great, it’s a treat!”
This show is an ideal introduction to live concerts for parents unsure if their little ones would sit through a full symphony show. The animated movie adds another level of entertainment for even the most wiggly music fans. I don’t remember the first time I made the connection that the music in movies actually came from live musicians, but I look forward to seeing my daughter’s reaction as the songs she loves are performed. I’m sure there will be plenty of singing and Paetkau says that’s the best part.