The 2015 Silent Film Showcase will have an entirely new look and format for BIFF’s 10th anniversary.
The featured film will be the original 1925 version of “The Phantom of the Opera” starring Lon Chaney. The presentation will take place in the Sanctuary at The Castle in Beloit.
The film will be accompanied by internationally renowned organist Bob Rub who will play the Castle’s Henry Pilcher & Sons vintage pipe organ. The accompaniment will include the original organ score with additional musical interludes composed by Maestro Tomaro.
Periodically during the screening, old will meet new, as the accompaniment will briefly switch from organ to piano with Lanette Calhoun accompanying soprano Gaia Galvan and tenor Scott Chachula as they perform selections from the 2004 Andrew Lloyd Webber version of “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Other highlights of the evening will include the Rock River Philharmonic silent auction, which each year raises important funds to support the Philharmonic. The RRP, under the direction of Maestro Robert Tomaro, will provide its Chamber Orchestra to perform atmospheric selections during the reception and auction portions of the evening, as well as the musicians who will accompany the film.
Although his parents were deaf-mutes, Leonidas Chaney became an actor and also owner of a theatre company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast.
Lon Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like e.g. Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923).
Due to his special make-up effects he carried the characterization to be “the man with the thousand faces.”
He only filmed one movie with sound: The remake of one of his earlier films The Unholy Three (1930).
His son, Lon Chaney Jr., became a famous actor of the horror genre.
This signature BIFF event features members of the Rock River Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Robert Tomaro.
Since its inception, the signature event of The Beloit International Film Festival has been the Saturday evening BMO Harris Bank Silent Film Showcase.
Sold-out audiences have frequently included film festival executives from around the country on hand to see how BIFF creates the program so they might duplicate it at their festivals. This annual celebration of early 20th century film is highlighted by a performance of an original or newly conceived musical score performed by the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra, now operating under its new brand: The Rock River Philharmonic.
Prior to the Silent Film screening there will be a reception and silent auction to benefit the Rock River Philharmonic (formerly the Beloit Janesville Symphony).
Items available for auction include something for everyone: