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The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC: Chaplin City Lights

Photo of Charlie Chaplin

About the Event

Charlie Chaplin’s immortal romantic comedy City Lights gets even brighter when The Philadelphia Orchestra performs Chaplin’s score live while the complete film — considered to be among the greatest ever made — is shown on a giant screen above the stage for the final installment of the “Cinema Series @ SPAC.”

Charlie Chaplin, one of the towering icons of film history, central to the field of film as a producer, director, and actor, is instantly recognizable to people around the world for his signature character, the Tramp. In 1999, the American Film Institute placed him on its list as one of the “greatest male movie stars of all time”; it also acknowledged his film City Lights as one the “100 best American films ever made.”

Chaplin, unlike most directors in the silent film era, composed the music for City Lights: “I tried to compose elegant and romantic music to frame my comedies in contrast to the tramp character, for elegant music gave my comedies an emotional dimension. Musical arrangers rarely understood this. They wanted the music to be funny. But I would explain that I wanted no competition, I wanted the music to be a counterpoint of grace and charm, to express sentiment, without which, a work of art is incomplete.”

Kensho Wantanabe, conductor

Chaplin                               City Lights (complete with film)*

*Indicates SPAC premiere 

Tickets for Philadelphia Orchestra

Matinee Performances

  • Front Orchestra: $53 - $63
  • Rear Orchestra: $43 - $53
  • Balcony: $28 - $63
  • Lawn: $18

Evening Performances

  • Front Orchestra: $63 - $113
  • Rear Orchestra: $43 - $83
  • Balcony: $33 - $103
  • Lawn: $29 - $34

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Event times and information subject to change and not guaranteed.