A showcase of visual comedy
|What is "The Orchestra"? | The official DVD|
|When and where was it aired? | The episodes | Credits | Trivia | Links|
During our stay in Pinetown, South Africa in 1986, my father recorded nine of the 10 episodes from the SABC. The missing episode, Safari Symphony, (thanks to several fans) has been added, as well as the missing footage from Prima Donna! Despite the somewhat poor quality due to bad television reception and age of the original VHS tapes, they are in digital form. Below is a guide to each of the 10 episodes, and if better quality recordings become available, they will be used in place of the older copies.
Austrian fan Gregor Farkasch notes that he worked for the Austrian television company "ORF" for seven years, and at that time tried to get some good copies of The Orchestra series. He was turned down, however, because the tapes they had were in the so-called U-Matic format (an old professional video system of the 1980s). Obviously, no one since has had the time or interest in making digital copies (this was in 2003/2004). He had hoped to have an opportunity in the future to ask again, but suspects the chances are rather small, and not getting any better. However, thanks to news of Julian Chagrin's efforts, this doesn't appear to be a problem.
Since then, YouTube user Blackthorne—with Julian Chagrin's permission—has uploaded each of the complete episodes to his channel (links available below):
|Episode Guide (10 total, ~24 min. each, broadcast order unknown)|
|Dance of the Hours
This first episode introduces the maestro and his valet, as they make it through a surprising and hap-hazard performance.
|Concert for Brass, Bombs & Blowpipes!
The maestro saves the day as he thwarts a crafty assassination attempt by the Mafia on an old friend—and general.
The maestro struggles to bridge the generation gap and teach a visiting, young egocentric prodigy pianist a lesson.
The maestro invites his orchestra along for a unique safari performance, complete with animal accompaniment.
Part 1: The maestro unwittingly becomes the target of a corrupt mayor and his bodyguard when an incriminating photo is slipped into his pocket.
Part 2: (see left)
Part 1: On tour in South America, the maestro and his valet are imprisoned in the wake of a revolution. Can they escape in one piece?
Part 2: (see left)
On tour, and with dreams of a grand welcome, the maestro spends his next performance metering out justice to a group of ill-mannered musicians.
The maestro conducts a performance of "Il Trovatore" with two operatic stars; but not the way Verdi anticipated!