Classically Trained: 'Bond' themes featured by Pacific Symphony

Call him Davis. Carl Davis.

The American conductor-composer this week will be leading the Pacific Symphony in its last pops concert series of the season, "The Music of Bond. James Bond."

Dubbed "a license to thrill," the 8 p.m. concerts Thursday through Saturday by the Costa Mesa-based orchestra are in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Images from the famed "Bond" film series will be projected during the concert, the hall decorated "Casino Royale"-style, vintage Aston Martins parked outside and martinis served shaken — not stirred.

British vocalist Mary Carewe sings the hits from films including "Goldfinger," "From Russia with Love" and "Live and Let Die."

She has toured the world with Davis and "made these iconic James Bond themes her own," according to symphony officials.

"The films have left a legacy of female artists, so I was looking around for someone who could take on the lot in her own way while doing the songs a good service," Davis said in a release, "and Mary Carewe has been fantastic. We've been working together for about 10 years, and she's got a very polished act now."

Other notable projects by Davis, who was born in New York but now lives in London, are his extensive work for making silent films not so silent anymore. His efforts, involving writing new material or restoring the original score, include work on 1926 version of "Ben-Hur," Buster Keaton's "The General" (1926) and Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights" (1931).

For "Bond," Davis noted how the films spanning from 1962 to the present day "cover a big scope of popular culture's development in musical style."

"So the first films have rather crooning, ballad-type songs … (then) after the rock and roll came rhythm and blues," he said in a release. "The films have always been on the cutting edge of popular music in their time, so the story is very interesting to follow."

Tickets start at $25. For more information, call (714) 755-5799 or visit


Free concerts in the park will be happening again this summer throughout southern Orange County.

Symphony in the Cities is now in its seventh year and features a free performance by the Pacific Symphony and an interactive musical center for children.

The concerts are on the following dates: July 30 at the Village Green of Oso Viejo Park, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo; July 31 at Woodbridge Community Park, 20 Lake Road, Irvine; and Aug. 14 at Pittsford Park, 21701 Pittsford Drive, Lake Forest.

All three concerts start at 7 p.m., with various activities beginning at various hours beforehand. They're nicely geared for families — conductor Carl St.Clair even leads a "conducting" session for the kids that's complete with colored straws — so everyone can enjoy being together outside. Just don't forget to bring the chairs and blankets.

BRADLEY ZINT is a copy editor for the Daily Pilot and a classically trained musician. E-mail him story ideas at

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