The Godfather Review | Bridgewater Hall | Manchester
The first time I visited the Bridgewater Hall, the sparklingly modern venue had simply assembled chairs sprinkled across its stage in preparation for university alumni to cross it. But this huge 2,400 seat auditorium toes the line in concerts for operas and orchestras, whilst also housing graduations.
I had never viewed a classical concert in their halls so when I returned to the contemporary building to watch a live screening of The Godfather, I was impressed with the stages transformation. With a cinema size projection screen playing above the heads of its orchestra, the sizable stage was hypnotising.
Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) is a three-time Academy award-winning masterpiece with elements that are recaptured and celebrated through multiple genres. Nino Rota's score is timeless, ringing out to the audience through the Bridgewater amazing acoustics and enrapturing the scale of the fast-paced crime drama.
The story follows the Corleone’s and their rivalry with New York crime families between 1945 and 1955. Pulling on the themes of loyalty, vengeance and tradition, the almost three-hour long film uses rich storytelling and a star-studded cast to steer audiences through the burdens of heading a crime family.
The orchestra is absorbing and it is a surreal experience viewing such a masterfully made film alongside such a gripping live performance. It is a marvellous contemporary, classic mix and an experience that I would love to do regularly. Unfortunately, the Bridgewater Hall only showcase these live film performances once or twice a year. Nevertheless, it is an inclusive and relaxed way to embrace classical performers, allowing audiences to appreciate the arts with familiar storytellers as a backdrop to a films more memorable score.