Bela Lugosi’s “Dracula” was revived with live music from Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet for the first time in Romania as a homecoming for the 1931 film based on the fictional Romanian vampire.
Glass specially composed the soundtrack for the film in 1998 and performed it live with the San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet for an enthusiastic audience in Bucharest on Monday.
The composer said his performance connects the audience with the film through live music and gives the viewers a choice of coming closer - unlike standard film or commercials.
“When we play in front of the film, you can say we are lending the film the ‘liveness’ of the performance. The ‘liveness’ of the live playing becomes a part of the film,” Glass said at a news conference ahead of his concert.
Dracula is the main character of Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel “Dracula,” inspired by 15th century Romanian Prince Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes, who was notorious for torturing enemies, criminals and captured Ottoman soldiers.
Set in the late 1800s, Stoker’s novel is about a vampire who leaves his remote castle in the Borgo Pass near Bistritsa in northern Transylvania to feed in the crowded streets of London.
The story has inspired numerous films, but Hungarian actor Lugosi’s portrayal of the character is a cult favorite.
Few Romanians before 1990 heard about the vampire legend making their country famous world-wide because communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu banned the novel and film.
“What else can attract me than the name Philip Glass. First of all, he is a great artist, and I wanted for so long to see him here in Romania,” said attendee Liviu Zamora, who came to see the Bucharest performance.