Film & TV

ASO performs Star Wars: Return of the Jedi live in concert

The force will be strong as Adelaide Symphony Orchestra performs Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, live in concert.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will present the spectacular, climactic sixth episode of the original Star Wars saga, Return of the Jedi in concert with Oscar-winning composer John Williams’s music performed live to the film on a giant HD screen, led by conductor Nicholas Buc.

Experience the scope and grandeur of the film as the orchestra brings it to life at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre Arena on Saturday 21 August.

‘I am a Jedi, like my father before me…’

Fans will finally have the chance to see Star Wars Return of the Jedi after the concert was cancelled due to Covid in 2020, even Covid can’t stop the force.

In this now-legendary 1983 film, Darth Vader readies the second Death Star to unleash the final blow to the Rebel Alliance. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca are joined by Jabba the Hutt, Yoda and the Ewoks in this adventure across the galaxy.

“Whilst The Rise of Skywalker has been billed as the concluding chapter in the Skywalker saga, for many fans and purists, the real ‘Star Wars’ finale is ‘Return of the Jedi’. With John Williams at the top of his game, it delivers the perfect musical conclusion to a trilogy that changed the face of film music forever” says Conductor Nicholas Buc.

Vincent Ciccarello said the ASO can’t wait to get back to the Entertainment Centre to present this exciting showcase concert. “To watch the film with a fully live symphonic accompaniment is a thrill. For those who’ve never been to an ASO concert, it’s the perfect opportunity to hear the power of the orchestra as 85 musicians perform live on stage,” he said.

Since the release of the first Star Wars movie nearly 40 years ago, the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on both cinema and culture, inspiring audiences around the world with its mythic storytelling, captivating characters, ground-breaking special effects and iconic musical scores composed by Williams. Witness the final face-off between Luke and Darth Vader in full symphonic sound.

Conductor Nicholas Buc vividly remembers the first time he heard the music of film composer John Williams. “I was an avid skier growing up, and when I was about 10-years-old, I remember finding this cassette at a ski lodge,” he recalls. “It was an untitled tape that just had ‘Film Music’ written on it in pen. I was already a bit interested in film music at the time – just very loosely – and I thought, ‘Why not, I’ll give it a go.’ So, I put it in my little Walkman to listen to on the journey back to Melbourne. As it happens, it was the entire score to ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. By the end of that five-hour drive home from Mt Hotham, I was completely hooked.”

Of Williams’s music Buc says, “Williams is a truly masterful musician, but his music is able to channel something of the great Romantic and early twentieth-century composers in a way that doesn’t alienate an audience that might only be very casual appreciators of classical music.

“Beneath that accessibility is some seriously impressive technique. He’s an incredible orchestrator. He’s able to craft earworm melodies and weave them into the fabric of the music in all kinds of ingenious ways. There’s an incredible amount of colour and variety and inventiveness that really makes it a joy to listen to. And it’s also a joy to play. Musicians love playing Williams, because it’s so well-conceived; it sits well, it’s idiomatic. It’s just bloody well-written music. And you don’t always find that in film scores.”

SHOWCASE SERIES: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Date: Saturday 21 August, 7pm
Location: Adelaide Entertainment Centre Arena
Conductor: Nicholas Buc
Tickets: On sale midday Monday 18 April  

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