PipeSounds to present classic silent movie, 'The Phantom of the Opera'

Todd Wilson

The Putnam Herald

Friday, December 6, 2019

HURRICANE - Todd Wilson, regarded across America and around the world as one of today's finest concert organists, will bring to life a local church's symphonic organ as he provides music to accompany the classic silent film "The Phantom of the Opera," starring Lon Chaney.

The PipeSounds concert series annual silent movie event is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, March 15, at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 2848 Putnam Ave. in Hurricane.

Wilson's active interest in improvisation has led to his popular accompaniments to classic silent films. He is an extraordinary, intrepid performer with immense technical capability and solid musicianship, according to a news release from PipeSounds.

At an AGO Convention in Minneapolis, Wilson was acclaimed as the highlight of the convention. The American Organist in a press notice stated "Few artists in the profession communicate at the level of depth as does this gracious gentleman. He sets the gold standard by which others are measured."

Wilson is head of the Organ Department at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall (home of The Cleveland Orchestra) in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also director of music at Cleveland's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

'Phantom of the Opera' is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel," Le Fantme de l'Opra," directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney in the title role of the deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he loves a star.

The mad, masked composer (Lon Chaney) holds a singer (Mary Philbin) captive in the catacombs beneath the Opera House and grooms her for stardom.

Although Chaney's parents were deaf-mutes, he became an actor and also owner of a theater company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast. Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like the "Phantom".

PipeSounds, with the Putnam County Bank sponsoring the event, are pleased to welcome Wilson to Hurricane to perform on the world-class Harrah Symphonic Organ.

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