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The SSO will meet Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton under cover of darkness Aug. 2 and you're invited to witness this historic (um, hysterical?) collaboration.
It's part of the 2018 Music Under the Stars film program, produced by Queen of the Square Cinema, in Stratford's Market Square.
This Kings of Silent Comedy program will include two Chaplin films, The Immigrant and The Adventurer, and two Keaton films, One Week and Cops.
Twenty SSO musicians will take the place of a theatre organ, performing an instrumental score crafted by Ben Model, one of North America's leading silent film accompanists.
The conductor will be Peter Wiebe, a cellist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and until recently its associate conductor.
Wiebe, who has experience conducting instrumental accompaniment to silent films, says it can be tricky. While an organist, with eyes glued to the screen, can speed up, slow down or even improvise as a film runs, an orchestra is focused on the sheet music - and the conductor - as the conductor watches the film and adjusts tempo and dynamics.
"You have to go with the action in the film," he says.
Surely you will want to be in the audience as these dramas - on the screen and in the "pit" - unfold. Bring a chair and find a spot while the best ones are available.
The event will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2, in Market Square. If rain forces postponement, the new date will be Aug. 9. Rain on Aug. 9 will push the performance inside to Avondale United Church.
Attendance is free. Production and promotion costs ($7,000+) will be partly covered by a grant from the Stratford Destination Animation Project as well as sponsorships secured by the SSO and its sponsorship team. The orchestra will seek to raise the remainder through a crowd-funding effort on indiegogo.com (see How to help fund this SSO project).