Just a couple of weeks ago I found myself with the great fortune of spending another night with The Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses. This year, the performance was to be held in the same venue, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Fl. As I was walked around before the performance I couldn’t help but ask myself; What was it going to be like this year, would I be as captivated as I had been last year, would it be even better than I remembered, how impactful would the new additions to the symphony be? So many questions were running around in my mind but I knew the night was going to be full of surprises, and I couldn’t wait for it to begin! Join me, as I spend an evening with the Symphony of the Goddesses, and some familiar faces too!
The last time I had walked the halls of the theatre, I was in awe at the beauty of my surroundings, and this time was no different. While I observed the musicians getting ready for the performance in the silence of an empty theatre, I wondered how many of those waiting out front had been here before, and how many were seeing the Symphony for the first time. I also had some time to think about my interview with Executive Producer, Jason Michael Paul. Last year, when he and I had a chance to meet, their was a somber tone to the performance as it was going to be the first performance after the passing of Satoru Iwata, the much beloved President of Nintendo. The loss of his passing was felt across the world and the performance that night had been dedicated in his honor. What differences had one year made and what would Jason have to share with us this time?
Kira: How does it feel to be back on tour with the Symphony this year being the 30th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda franchise?
Jason: It’s amazing! When we started this we knew it’d be big, but could have never imagined we’d go so far. Its really all thanks to the fans – they are the wins with the true undying love for Zelda. We’re happy to bring them the ultimate Zelda experience.
Kira: What were your thoughts on the latest addition to the franchise announced at E3?
Jason: Breath of the Wild is incredible! We hope to be able to include it in the symphony down the line, but of course for now we can’t wait to play it like everyone else.
Kira: Do you feel that there is still a strong support from fans now that the Symphony has been around for a couple of years?
Jason: Most definitely. Every year we have more people come out, more people cosplay at shows, and friendships are built. Its definitely a place where people can reunite year after year and celebrate their love for Zelda together.
Kira: When last you and I spoke, you had said that one of your favorite shows had been in Tokyo where Miyamoto was in attendance. Would you still say that holds true now as well?
Jason: Yes – it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. It’s been wonderful to have his blessing with this show.
Kira: What did you feel was most important to alter or change in the latest performance of the Symphony?
Jason: Since we have a lot of returning fans we always want to make sure we’re updating the show and including new pieces, while still playing the hits. We’ve also updating some of the gameplay graphics, for instance, Twilight Princess HD footage was added this year, since it was recently released to the public.
Kira: You and I have spoken before about the impact Symphony of the Goddesses has had on symphony goers in general, do you still see interest coming from attendees that are not fans of the Zelda franchise?
Jason: Yes – and that’s been a great push from our PR efforts and placements in publications like The Wall Street Journal, The Colbert Show, CBS News, etc. which I think is able to reach a broader audience who might not be rabid Zelda fans – but still find the idea cool and worth checking out. The venues also do an amazing job of letting their regulars know that Zelda is coming and it can be an enjoyable experience for them too.
Kira: What would you say to those fans that have seen the performance more than once and what would you say to those that are seeing the Symphony for the first time?
Jason: To those that are seeing the performance again – we thank you and we love you! We hope to continue to make it the ultimate Zelda experience for you, and this show is what it is, because of fans like you. To those seeing the show for the first time – you’re in for a treat! We hope you’ll be back again.
Kira: Where would you like to see the Symphony go once Breath of the Wild releases next year?
Jason: We’d of course love to include it!
Kira: I realize that there is probably not enough time in your day but have you been able to play a Zelda game recently? If not, which title would you like to play or replay?
Jason: My young daughter and I often play together. My all-time favorite is still Ocarina of Time.
Kira: Are there any new plans that you have started to discuss or would like to make happen with the Symphony that you could share with fans?
Jason: No plans to share just yet – we’re always hard at work and busy with a worldwide tour! Fans interested in keeping up to date with what we have going on, can subscribe to our newsletter via our website.
I took a few moment s to walk through the crowds of people awaiting the performance seemingly as excited as I was and ran into some familiar faces! Last year I met this amazing group of cosplayers that had hand made all of their costumes, and I was super ecstatic to see them again.
From left to right; Shannon, Kayla, Shelby, Ariel, and Hannah
It was so nice to see them again but they wouldn’t be the only awesome souls I would meet that night! Before the performance was to begin a few of us were allowed into the theatre to take in the surroundings and observe the Orchestra as they began their preparations. I knew the night ahead would be spectacular and I only hoped those outside would feel the same! Once the doors of the theatre had opened to the public, crowds of eager Symphony goers found their way to their seats and amongst them I caught sight of Makar. I couldn’t help but ask the lovely girl that he was with for a quick pic, she even let me hold him, and he jingled! He was super well made and absolutely adorable, thanks Alix!
During intermission, after returning from an unsuccessful jaunt to locate the yummy gummy bears that I saw everyone munching on I spied these two getting some Hyrule Warriors time in, what a perfect way to make the time go by fast!
Joey and Jayleen killing time during intermission, she was kind enough to lend him her 3DS!
Alas, the end of the show was upon us and after two standing ovations Amy Andersson and the Orchestra bid their final farewell to Orlando.
The night still had one more surprise in store for me, as I gathered all my belongings and made my way to the main hall of the Dr. Phillips Center, I came across a trio of cosplayers that I somehow hadn’t seen all night.
Jennifer (Hilda), Jason (Ravio), Jessica (Zelda)
Gotta say slightly biased but loved that Ravio, and what a great way to end another spectacular night at the Symphony of the Goddesses in Orlando!