Bugs Bunny at the New York Philharmonic

Posted on: May 26, 2015

“Last weekend, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, who in their heyday often ended up in concert halls through chaotic means, shared a stage with the New York Philharmonic,” writes Sarah Larson in the May 22 issue of the New Yorker. Conductor George Daugherty’s “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” program has been performed with orchestras since 1989. “This was the program’s first outing with the Philharmonic, and the four shows,” which pair Warner Bros. cartoons with live performances, “had sold out quickly. ‘I had loved these cartoons as a child, and I had no idea at the time that I was listening to Wagner and Rossini and von Suppé and Smetana and Tchaikovsky and Liszt and Strauss—all of the classical composers that were borrowed from,’ says Daugherty.… ‘Bugs Bunny’s voice and Elmer Fudd’s voice fall into a sonic area that’s not even near the music.…  Conservatory did not prepare me for any of this.’ … At Avery Fisher Hall, Elmer Fudd told everybody to turn off their cell phones. When the orchestra played the Warner Bros. theme, the audience cheered.… The grand finale was ‘What’s Opera, Doc?’ … ‘Oh, Brünnhilde, you’re so wuvwy,’ Fudd sang. The Philharmonic played with precision and thunderous power; in the audience, several voices, old and young, could be heard singing ‘Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit.’ ”

Posted May 26, 2015