Colorado Symphony to perform at premiere of Chris Anthony’s new documentary ‘Mission Mt. Mangart’
Film will screen on Veterans Day at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver
Vail local Chris Anthony’s new documentary, “Mission Mt. Mangart,” will make its world premiere on Nov. 11, with the Colorado Symphony performing at the film’s opening and conclusion. The event will take place at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver at 7 p.m.
The film shares untold stories of the ski troopers of World War II — the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division — centered around Anthony’s discovery that a town he had been visiting in Italy was also visited by the 10th Mountain Division, which organized a ski race in the area after fighting in the Italian Alps.
Anthony embarked on a six-year journey to create the documentary, and along the way he found composer Carlo Nicolau, who heard Anthony’s stories and watched his film.
Nicolau said he was so moved that he became inspired to write music for the documentary, composing an original score. Anthony shared the finished product with Colorado Symphony Chief Artistic Officer Anthony Pierce, who was also quite moved.
“I watched the film and saw the vision that he had and the beauty of the story and thought about what we could contribute and make it that much more special,” Pierce said. “There’s some beautiful moments in this movie that we’re going to accompany.”
The film concludes with what Pierce describes as a beautiful scene in which “the visual imagery and the orchestra get to take over,” he said.
In doing so, “We’re going to make sure (Nicolau’s) vision is honored,” Pierce said of the symphony.
Nicolau said he will be attending in person and is thrilled to hear the performance.
“It will be an honor,” he said.
Classy to classroom
The Colorado Symphony often performs the scores to films as part of its community offerings, playing alongside such movies as “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars.”
But the Nov. 11 concert will be a little different, Pierce said.
“This is a project that’s beautiful in the story that it tells and what it means to Colorado history, and the fact that we get to do it on Veterans Day makes it all the more beautiful,” he said.
Anthony said it will be a fitting debut for a project which, over the last decade, has defined his life’s work.
“I can’t imagine a better way to debut the film,” he said.
But while the Boettcher Concert Hall will make for a spectacular debut, the film’s final destination is something much less glamorous: the standard school auditorium. The primary goal for Anthony in his journey has always been to create a teaching tool which would assist students in learning about the history of the 10th Mountain Division in Colorado.
The Chris Anthony Youth Project brings free classroom programs to schools across Colorado, using teaching tools Anthony developed during his many years as a ski film star for the Warren Miller Entertainment Group.