The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses had it’s premier show at the Kimmel Center on December 27. Last year the show was held at the Mann Center; which you can read Kevin’s recap of the show. The Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center felt like the perfect place for the orchestra. It’s almost cylinder shape, creates optimal viewing for everyone and still felt intimate. The audience was buzzing with excitement right until the lights dim and the Conductor walked across the stage. They played an opening medley that gave the audience a sampling of what’s to come. Boy, was it a good sampling. Producer, Jason Michael Paul, gave some words about how he loves our city (we love him back), talked about the merchandise (my son spent $35 on that merch), new elements in the show and then left the audience with a recorded message from creator, Shigeru Miyamoto.
The first half of the show was light, airy, and fun. Think of it as starting your journey in a Zelda game; you’re just learning the game, getting to know the world and the missions are easy. I felt they emphasized this by starting with Windwaker, which is the series cutest game and properly has the lightest tone. The music was upbeat for the most part of the first half but then transitioned into a slow melodic tone. A representation of how you now moved out of your home base and exploring more of Hyrule. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses’s new Breath of the Wild piece is a perfect example of this. They performed the music from the trailer, as the screen showed sweeping views of the world and those who inhabit it. This particular piece left the audience in awe and I, myself, had goosebumps. It’s like that moment in the game when you become hooked. In addition to Breath of the Wild; the new Skyward Sword movement and the cult favorite from Orcarina of Time were big hits.
There was a brief intermission before going into the second half.
Keeping up with the theme of the gamers experience of playing Zelda; the second half was commanding, powerful, and at times scary. You’ve got some experience defeating bosses and completing task; but now the big boss is looming. The AI is getting harder and the worlds are darker. The music in the second half of the show was just like that. They played music from Majora’s Mask, which is known for being the darkest in tone in the Zelda series. As well as music from some classic boss battles. I found myself enjoying this part of the show more. The shape of the Verizon Hall allowed for the audience to be completely surrounded by sound. So each crescendo is magnified and at times reverberating. Mirroring that same feeling of fighting the final boss. The show ends with a few somber pieces; giving that feeling of watching the end credit sequence.
Whether it was intentional or not, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, replicated the feeling of playing a game with music. Each piece of music felt specifically chosen and played in a specific order. As if the Conductor is the A.I. and the members of the orchestra are his tools to help you full experience the game. Something else I noticed, was the show started with more recent games and ended with the older games. A possible reflection of the multiple generations in the audience. The show had something for every Legend of Zelda fan.
I have one nitpick. The second half of the show felt shorter than the first. As previously stated, I rather enjoyed the dramatic tone of the second half. It would have been the cherry on top to have equal time with each tone.
Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses was a breathtaking show that delighted every person in attendance. It is definitely an experience you have to do at least once in your lifetime.