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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 29, 2006

Alloy Orchestra To Perform Score To 'The Phantom Of The Opera'

The Bijou Theater, a student-run, non-profit cinema at the University of Iowa, will bring the world-renowned Alloy Orchestra to Hancher Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7. Alloy will perform their original score to a 35mm restoration of the 1925 silent film classic "The Phantom of the Opera."

The performance will be a benefit for the Bijou Theater.

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Alloy Orchestra is a three-man musical ensemble writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films: Roger Miller on synthesizer; Terry Donahue on junk percussion, accordion, saw and banjo; and Ken Winokur on junk percussion and clarinet. Winokur formerly lived in Iowa City and attended City High School in 1971-72; his mother and sister still live in Iowa City.

Roger Ebert calls Alloy "the best in the world at accompanying silent films."

Now in its 15th year, the Alloy Orchestra has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era. The group has performed at festivals and cultural centers in the U.S. and abroad, including the Louvre, Lincoln Center, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy, among many others. This is their first-ever Iowa performance.

Directed by Rupert Jullian, "The Phantom of the Opera" (1925/1929, 88 min) is one of the most influential horror films of all time. Adapted from Gaston Leroux's novel "Le Fantome de l'Opera," the film features horror master Lon Chaney in a stellar performance as the mysterious Phantom.

Alloy's sister company, Box 5, worked on a meticulous restoration of the film under the supervision of group cofounder Winokur. The result is a gorgeous new 35mm print that reproduces the extremely intricate color scheme of the original release with hand tinting and the experimental two-strip Technicolor sequence at the masked ball. The new silent print is primed to be seen with Alloy's original score.

Established in 1972, the Bijou Theater is a student-run, non-profit cinema at the UI. The Bijou screens independent, art house, foreign and classic cinema and has built a reputation as one of the preeminent student-run theaters in the nation.

The Bijou Theater celebrates its 35th Anniversary in 2007 and will move into a newly renovated space on the first-floor of the Iowa Memorial Union in January. Proceeds from this performance will aid theater improvements and help to establish a "Friends of the Bijou" program and new programming initiatives.

Tickets for the benefit performance are $28 and may be purchased in person at the University Box Office in the Iowa Memorial Union; with credit card by phone at 319-335-304); and online at or in person at any Ticketmaster outlet.

Seating for the performance is reserved, on the main floor of Hancher Auditorium only.

More details on Alloy Orchestra, The Phantom of the Opera and the film's restoration may be found online at

For additional information please contact Andy Brodie, Bijou Theater Programming Director, at 319-541-5443 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Andy Brodie, Bijou Theater Programming Director, at 319-541-5443 or

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