Laterna Magika at Carnegie Hall
In recent years, musicians and moving images have shared the Carnegie Hall stages on a number of occasions. Concerts where audiences enjoyed aural and visual feasts include:
- December 1999: James Levine conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in the world premiere of Disney's Fantasia 2000.
- April 2009: Michael Tilson Thomas leads the first ever YouTube Symphony Orchestra performance.
- January 2010: Hans Graf conducts the Houston Symphony in a performance of Holst's The Planets, accompanied by high definition footage of NASA’s exploration of the solar system.
- March 2011: Alan Pierson and Alarm Will Sound perform 1969, backed by a video installation of images from the late 1960s.
This trend continues on November 4 with The Great Flood—Bill Frisell's evening-long suite accompanied by Bill Morrison's film that tells the story of the Delta blues performers who took their music north to cities like Chicago and how their migration transformed American music forever.
However, as long ago as 1964, Carnegie Hall—usually silent during August and much of September—reverberated for six weeks with the sights and sounds of Laterna Magika, a groundbreaking multi-media production from Prague, Czechoslovakia. A synthesis of film and live theater, Laterna Magika mingled reality and illusion, when on-stage actors engaged in dance and dialogue with their on-screen counterparts.
The show featured an updated version of Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, with contributions from Czech scenographer Josef Svoboda and filmmaker Milos Forman—then a budding apprentice to director Alfred Radok. Winner of the Grand Prize at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, Laterna Magika ran at the Hall from August 3 through September 12, 1964.