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Disney Fantasia SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Conducted by David Firman, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra presented Disney Fantasia:

Live In Concert, featuring a selection of excerpts from the original 1940 movie and the 1999 "sequel" Fantasia 2000. The skilled music-making was hindered by a few things, one of the minor quibbles being the occasional lapse in synchronicity with the animation. Sitting only a few rows from the stage, it was clear that during the opening Beethoven Symphonies and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite there were moments when the orchestra was a flicker out with the old-school Disney projection.

Debussy's Clair de Lune and Stravinksy's Firebird Suite closed the first act and catered more to the adults of the audience than the family crowd. Billed as a perfect family evening out, the children in the audience seemed to suggest otherwise. An air of restlessness gathered in the second half (while quite a few families left at the interval) even though both Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck featured in Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Elgar's Pomp And Circumstance respectively.

Overall, the Disney magic seemed to be lacking and there was a general disconnectedness with the audience. Where this type of event is most successful is when there is a bit of background information given or genuine interaction with the audience, and there was a lovely address from Mickey Mouse in the programme that would have been all that was needed to gain greater attention from the children. As it was, the show ended and the house lights were up before the orchestra had even exited the stage.

It's great that shows which would previously have been performed almost exclusively at the Royal Albert Hall are venturing north of the Border thanks to the Hydro; a little more thought for the audience experience would lead to far more impactful and memorable events.

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