Images Courtesy of MKielyPhotography.com
–Taken back in time, to 1920’s Paris, by the sights of a true silent film, and the accompanying sounds of the magnificent Forbes pipe organ, “The Phantom Of The Opera” couldn’t have looked or sounded greater, at the Performing Arts Center of Cal Poly. Costumed guests, and masked phantoms lurked around corners, enticing mystery and curiosity. Just in time for Halloween, this event quenched the thirst for many seeking a costumed, exciting evening to get in the mood for a magical time of year. Beautifully dressed guests wore a multitude of costumes, wings, and capes to the Christopher Cohan Center. While socializing, enjoying raffles, and a costume contest, they explored a darker side of themselves. The excitement of the evening was magnified, by knowing what kind of hauntingly beautiful music was to come, and to see such wonderful award winning opera singers displaying their vocal ranges.
The 1925 silent film classic, “The Phantom Of The Opera”, was projected onto a massive screen on stage, accompanied by the musical talents of concert organist Christian Elliot. Christian is known for his solo organ engagements with silent films all across the United States. He continually played to the crowd’s amazement, through the entire film, providing sound effects, enhancing emotions, and perfectly mirroring what was being shown on the screen.
The talent he displayed was massive, and enhanced by the beautiful and grand pipe organ which towered over him as he played. Tony Award winner, and spectacular vocal artist and actor, Anthony Crivello, who performed two songs from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s ” The Phantom Of The Opera” before the film, was joined by Alba Franco-Cancel, the resident artist of Opera San Luis Obispo, a jaw-dropping soprano. The artistry brought tears to the eyes of many guests, who were taken aback by the range of vocals and sincerity of the singers. The thrills and shivers sent down the spines by their voices just made the audience want more!
The SLO International Film Festival recently held this event at the Christopher Cohan Center in the Performing Arts Center of Cal Poly University. Half of the operating budget is provided by doing fundraisers like these, helping to ensure the film fest can happen annually. The donations are greatly needed, and special events help to provide funding and the opportunities for many independent filmmakers to screen films, give awards, and bring partnerships to our small area. Donations and sponsors help to keep the film fest going year after year, bringing quality art to the Central Coast, educational opportunities, and encouraging film making and other art forms in our tight knit community.