The Invincible Czars: The Phantom of the OperaPlayed Fall 2018
Nearly a century later, an eclectic musical and film experience breathes life into seminal classics for this Halloween season. The most adventurous band from Austin, Texas — The Invincible Czars —are bringing their new score to town as they perform it live to the 1925 American silent film The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney! The 30-city tour is coming to cities in the South, Midwest and East Coast, Ontario and all over Texas this fall – including several double feature performances of their widely praised score for the 1922 German film Nosferatu.
Fans, theaters and media have praised The Invincible Czars for making these near century-old movies “actually scary” for modern day audiences. The scores and their performances complements the tone and emotion on-screen at any given moment with as much cinematic flare as possible.
Set in nineteenth century Paris, Phantom of the Opera tells the story of unknown actress Christine Daae. Christine is the understudy for a famous lyric singer named Carlotta but a mysterious admirer (who sings through the walls to Christine) manages to scare Carlotta out of the role so that Christine can be the star of the show. But the admirer’s work comes with a serious price and Christine quickly finds herself trapped in the catacombs of the opera house with its Phantom and only her suspecting boyfriend to help her escape!
The Invincible Czars’ score for Phantom is mysterious and understated though not as minimal as their score for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It brings all the Czars’ staple instruments – violin, piano, bass guitar, flute and sounds effects. This time, the score features Josh Robins’ 7-string electric guitar with more effects than ever before used in a Czars silent film score.
The band encourages fans and attendees to dress for the Halloween season at these shows.
The Invincible Czars have been performing their own scores for early 20th century silent films for nearly a decade in historic/hip theaters, colleges, outdoor spaces, DIY arts centers, etc. The shows appeal to people of a wide range of ages and interests and you’ll find film buffs, music lovers, horror fans, sci-fi geeks, metalheads, goths, classical music fans among their audiences.
They’ve built an audience for themselves as much as the movies they accompany by adding movies to their catalog, creating original artwork and wardrobe, encouraging audience participation, recording their scores. The band toured all over the US in 2015-17 with their score for Nosferatu. Fans, theaters and media praised them for making the near century-old movie “actually scary” for modern-day audiences with their cinematic sensibility and precise performances.
The Czars use a mix of acoustic and electric instruments, sound effects and even vocals. They also borrow a little music from the classical realm in each of their scores. This time it’s Ravel’s “Rhapsodie Espanol”, Eric Satie’s “Gnossienne 3” and Guonod’s “Jewel Song” from Faust.
Phil Davidson – violin, keyboards, glockenspiel; Josh Robins – guitar, bass, percussion, loops; Aaryn Russell – bass guitar; Sarah Jane Hargis – flute