After months and months of building anticipation, the days finally came where Andrew and I could head to Lincoln Center and claim our seats for the three night Lord of the Rings Trilogy event. Lincoln Center played all three films, (Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, Return of the King – one per night) on a giant IMAX screen with a live orchestra playing the score along with the film. The event was nothing short of breath-taking. It was so amazing to be in a theater full the positive energy emanating from all the Tolkien enthusiasts in attendance. I loved how much audience reaction there was at pivotal moments during the films, whether it was applause, or cheering and laughter after specific lines (one of the best obviously being “They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard.”) There were people dressed in formal gowns, and people cosplaying as Hobbits and Elves. There was also such a diverse age range of audience members which is wonderful to see.
There were no photos allowed during the event, so naturally I snuck one at the beginning of each night to commemorate the performance. The 21st Century Symphony Chorus & Orchestra as well as the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and solosit KaitlynLusk were led by conductor Ludwig Wicki who has an immense amount of energy. I hadn’t previously realized how closely conductors resemble magicians. Kaitlyn’s voice was magical and perfectly fit the LOTR score. The only downside to the event (which is reasonable so I can understand) is that the theatrical versions were played instead of the extended cuts.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the absolute highlight of the event was on the third night when Return of the King ended and Howard Shore appeared onstage to give a speech. I was nearly in tears! I wasn’t expecting him to be there so I was totally taken by surprise. He thanked Peter Jackson and Tolkien and the LOTR fans. My hands were actually burning as we were leaving from clapping so hard. If you ever have to opportunity to see LOTR played with a live orchestra, I cannot recommend it enough. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had!