Fans of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra last night were given a crash course in high-brow video gaming of the highest order as Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series filled the Sydney Opera House with beautiful music.
While there are similar shows that showcase other game series soundtracks, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is the first in the world to feature a complete 4-movement symphony with arrangements approved by Nintendo Composer and Sound Director Koji Kondo and Series Producer Eiji Aonuma. The performance is conducted by the graceful Irish-born Eimear Noone whose videogame pedigree includes World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Diablo III.
The concert itself is two-and-a-half hours of pure magic and nostalgic delight as the audience is taken on a 25-year journey of The Legend of Zelda, exploring dungeons, villages, and even the Great Fairy’s Fountain itself.
The symphony lifts the room with all the drama, suspense and heroism the Legend of Zelda series is known for as it explores Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker (which comes with a delightful surprise for the fans), Twilight Princess and rounding off with A Link to the Past which, if you look closely, plays out the series timeline quite nicely.
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra is supported by the powerful and often moving Cantillation choir which has performed in a myriad of recordings including TV series Farscape.
It may surprise Sydney Symphony Orchestra fans to hear the arrangements come from a video game series, especially since it resembles in many ways Beethoven’s Symphony No.6 with its whimsy and powerful delivery. They enjoy it, even if the video images on the projector screen go over their heads.
An older gentleman Aussie-Gamer caught up with after the show was overdressed considering the rest of the crowd, but had a beaming face, “It was wonderful,” he said.
His partner cut in, “Absolutely delightful.”
The younger crowd were also suitably impressed, rewarding the performance with a five minute standing ovation, in turn granted a third encore.
Sadly, Symphony of the Goddesses is only in town for two nights, closing on February 2 and moving international for a show in March. You can keep up to date with the tour on the official website.