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Here's Listening To You, Kid

The North Carolina Symphony will be saying “Here’s listening to you, Kid,” on Valentine’s Weekend, as it performs Max Steiner’s Casablanca score live while the film plays on a giant screen in Meymandi Concert Hall. 

One of the world’s most romantic films,Casablanca features iconic performances by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.  

"I think this is a great way to introduce new audiences to the thrilling sound of a live orchestra," says Constantine Kitsopoulos, who will be leading the North Carolina Symphony in this weekend's performances of Casablanca. 

Along with playing the score, is keeping score on the frames per second as the film runs. "I have a couple of video monitors in front of me," Kitsopoulos says.  The conductor uses the monitors to match music to the on-screen action.

The music from the original 1942 film was digitally removed from the soundtrack, while retaining the dialogue, sound effects, and even “As Time Goes By” from Dooley Wilson and his piano from the famous scene in Rick’s Café Américain. Max Steiner was a well-known Hollywood composer; among his many credits were the original King Kong and Gone With the Wind.  The Austrian-born Steiner was steeped in the Viennese classical tradition – taught by Brahms and Mahler, the composer Richard Strauss was his godfather.

Casablanca was one of the films discussed today on North Carolina Public Radio’s The State of Things, in a segment about memorable movie kisses.  Host Frank Stasio and film experts Marsha Gordon of N.C. State University and Laura Boyes of the N.C. Museum of Art, also talked about the Symphony’s performance on Valentine’s Weekend.

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