My first impressions have the uncanny propensity of always being right and tonight was no exception. I knew it upon hearing the first few chords of the concerto that was opening the pyrotechnic display (Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi: La Primavera, Second Movement, Largo). The Seasons Of Life, created by the American company Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks, was going to be unlike any other show. Low-hanging subtle glitter hung in the night sky to the slow sounds of Vivaldi’s violins, both a statement in themselves and a dreamlike introduction to the main show. I could almost feel the faint wisps of something undefinable trying to come together out of thin air, a life about to begin.
Constructed as a poetic journey through the ups and downs of life, an order lofty enough to intimidate even the most seasoned (pun intended) of artists, this masterpiece more than delivered on its promise. Every subtle nuance of the theme was taken into account. The musical playlist brilliantly interweaved timeless classics such as Vivaldi’s triumphant Spring, with modern alternative metal hits such as Evanescence’s dark Bring Me To Life, a feat few can accomplish without losing coherence. Visually, the performance itself was stunning, despite being understated by pyrotechnic standards. True art never has the primary objective of overwhelming the beholder with technical prowess; it is rather about expressing ideas in the most finely accurate details possible, and here that is exactly what was done. Subtlety was queen, with gently falling sparkly glitter a staple throughout the show, adding excellent emotional resonance and reflecting a mature understanding of the complex subject matter.
In this line of thought, the finale was outstanding. It captured life perfectly: a temporary, fleeting thing. Death was symbolized with low hanging gold clouds that were bleeding a quartet of shiny rain, which morphed quietly into a triplet, then a duplet, then a lone sad trickle, until there was nothing left. A tiny poof reminiscent of Tinker Bell signalled that it was indeed the end. I thought everything was over then …how I was wrong. The Show Must Go On by Queen started playing out of the radio truck behind me. Gold and red started exploding overhead, accompanied by waterfalls. As the music progressed, the light effects got more and more insistent, trying to send out a message. Red morphed into gold, gold morphed into white, white morphed into single beams of light that transmuted to a million tiny sparkles over the bridge where I was standing. Every single soul around me had, at that moment, their necks craned at a sharp 90 degree angle.
Of course it could not end with death, I thought then, marvelling at the rare breed of wisdom of the pyrotechnic firm. Death is not the ultimate end of things, after all, and has never been. The universe with its eternal laws of physics goes on after the demise of an individual in patterns we will never fully understand. That is why life is beautiful.