WESTDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG – Redaktion “Kreis Mettmann” – 31st March 2012 – by Martin Gehr
Metropolis at the Forum – a cultural experience

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Velbert. It was the highlight of this season’s culture programme: The theatre of Forum Niederberg changed in a cinema. The New Philharmony of Westfalia presented „Metropolis”, the classical silent movie from 1927, whose reconstructed and concertant version had it’s premiere at the Berlinale in 2010. This monumental work, which was shot in the studios of Babelsberg, is one of the most influential feature films rushing till our times.

Leaded by the italian conductor Gioele Muglialdo, approximate 60 musicians accompanied the action on screen with the original compositions of Gottfried Huppertz. Stunning, suspenseful and many-layered, the utopian story tells about a dictatored city, where deep below workers are treated like slaves – until they get rebellious and begin to destroy the city, whereof reconciliation is born.

The audience was inspired by this one-time package, in which not the movie but the music had three dimensions. “When such an event is offered nearby, you should take this evening with you, also if you don’t have the background to understand every detail”, says Daniel Berg from Wuelfrath. “Those who weren’t part of this evening, really have missed something: the movie, the orchestra, the experience”, says Ulrich Stahl, leader of the local culture ressort. It was definitely an event, cause “big cinema” is missed in Velbert since 16 years: In 1996 the “City Movie” at the Blumenstrasse closed its doors and with it the last local cinema. Velbert can look back on a busy cinema history, which stamped parts of the town’s atmosphere in the 20th century: Names like the “Salamander”, the “Residence” or the “Metropol” are known by older citizens until today. In the Fiftys five cinemas were playing simultaneously in Velbert, says the local town archive. […]

The greatness and power – in film as well as in music – is also esteemed by conductor Gioele Muglialdo: “It was the first time I conducted film-music”, says Muglialdo, who’s born in Torino. “It’s difficult but also exciting to synchronize orchestra and film. It has to fit exactly to the scenes, nevertheless there’s a way to interpretate the score.” Muglialdo is among others specialist in opera: “I didn’t know about this renaissance of ,Metropolis’ before. What a fantastic film! I begin to love this kind of music. I would like to do that more often!”

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