There are a lot of movie screenings this year in Melbourne with live symphonic accompaniment – Harry Potter, Star Wars and more – but this is the one most likely to draw tears and wrap audiences up in a nostalgic blanket of Japanophilia.
It's been announced that Joe Hisaishi, who composed the music to all the great films of Hayao Miyazaki, will come to Melbourne to conduct the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing a concert of highlights from My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Laputa: Castle in the Sky and more, with scenes from the films playing on the huge Hamer Hall screen.
The concert premiered in Paris last June and also featured music from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Wind Rises and Howl's Moving Castle.
In Melbourne you can expect the sublime, Wagneresque music from Ponyo – as well as its charmingly naïve theme song – plus those catchy songs from Totoro. Hisaishi will very likely play a piano solo from Nausicaä, and there will be guest vocalists too.
The music has always been a key part of the impact of Studio Ghibli films, so fans can expect an overwhelmingly emotional concert experience in April. Tickets go on sale Monday February 12.