Friday, November 25, 2011

Berlin Philharmonic Live Broadcast in Taipei

This is something that I attended recently and am posting about it here in hopes that it'll inspire the powers-that-be back home to do something similar.

Because I had such a thrill on 18 November watching a free live relay of the Berlin Philharmonic's performance of Mahler's 9th at the National Concert Hall at the Taipei Arena (an indoor stadium for sports and rock concert extravaganzas). The concert was also relayed to stadiums in Xinzhu, Taichung and Hualian, as well as on the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall.

Free tickets were given out at the National Concert Hall's MRT station at 9am on 11 November, a week before. Queues started building up from 8am. Here are pics of the crowd queuing up for Berlin Phil simulcast tickets:

The Taipei Arena was so crowded on that day that traffic police had to be called in to usher passersby from the surrounding roads (it was the same location where I had triumphed in Aida only a few weeks ago). Two hosts entertained the live crowd of almost 10,000 audiences as well as viewers watching online. This concert is the first time an overseas Berlin Phil concert was broadcasted on their website. Needless to say, government officials didn't waste this opportunity to showcase their wares and web listeners were shown trailers about Taiwanese tourism and business opportunities.

Watching the concert on a giant LCD screen with so many people, it feels as though I'm watching a movie in a cinema except that its actually a live classical event that only a supposedly niche audience cares about. Also watching Sir Rattle and a bunch of Ang Mohs walk onstage, It seemed eerily familiar to viewing concert DVDs at home, where the film typically starts by showing footage of the concert hall or opera house, except that the concert hall being shown at the moment isn't in some exotic locale like Berlin, Lucerne or New York, but in the very heart of Taipei just a few MRT stations away from where we are (I even saw a classmate sitting on the front row with his mom!)

After the concert, the roads from the National Concert Hall to Taipei Arena were cleared to drive Sir Rattle and company to the Arena ASAP. They were met with cheers and an ovation worthy of rock stars. Crowds from the other three cities also joined in the cheering through web relays. The orchestra and Sir Rattle were so touched that they promised to come back again in the near future.

Afterwards, vendors set up makeshift, pasar malam-like stalls outside the stadium selling Taiwanese editions of Berlin Phil DVDs.

So yeah, it was a triumph all round;  the Berlin Phil had yet another successful night performing a single concert to almost 20,000 live audiences, we audiences got to watch the whole thing for free (except for those who actually attended the live event), DVD sellers got a good bonus and advertisers got their money's worth. The free programmes given out even had a log-in password for us to try out the digital concert hall ourselves! Imagine all this fuss about classical music! 

1 comment:

  1. Cool! Remember Berlin came to Singapore recently? That was a sold out despite S$350 seater was put up!!!!!


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