Ever since Andrew and I went to see Lord of the Rings in concert at Lincoln Center I’ve been wanting to re-read the books as it’s been years since I delved into the world of Middle Earth in any medium other than film. When I heard about March Into Middle Earth through Melissa of Readerly Geek, I discovered Rin of Rin Reads (who is hosting the event and created the lovely header graphic) and that she and her book club, Dungeons & Jetpacks, would be buddy reading The Fellowship of the Ring this month. Could there be a more perfect time to revisit my favorite characters and accompany them on their journey one more time? I certainly can’t think of one!
I love the idea of participating in a month long celebration of all things Tolkien so I’m already planning my posts for the rest of March. As you may already know, March 25 is Tolkien Reading Day which originated in 2003 and is created by The Tolkien Society and inspired this months buddy read. If I stick to the schedule, I should be finished with The Fellowship of the Ring by then so I may do something else that day in celebration. But in the meantime, you can count on seeing a Tea & Book Chat, a collectibles post, an outfit of the day post and more here on my blog. I may also follow in Melissa’s footsteps and finally watch the animated version of The Hobbit. And, if you’re a fellow Tolkien fan, I would highly suggest joining in the Middle Earth madness this month! Until my first post, I’ll leave you with my newest addition to my Tolkien collection, the Folio Society box set.
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!