On December 31, the Boston Pops will present the United States premiere of best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s short film Statuesque as part of the New Year’s Eve gala concert featuring the provocative and inventive singer/songwriter/cabaret artist Amanda Palmer. Statuesque has been described as “a love triangle between two living statues and an admirer who observes his object of affection every day among the Christmas shoppers, unaware that he too is being watched.” The short film stars Amanda Palmer and Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Main’s Chest and At World’s End, Love Actually), with Becca Darling and Liam McKean. It will be shown to open Amanda Palmer’s set.
Neil Gaiman is an author with a wide-ranging body of work, including his novels Stardust, American Gods, and 2002’s Coraline, recently made into an animated film and nominated for a Golden Globe. He has previously collaborated with Amanda Palmer on her photo book, Who Killed Amanda Palmer?
The world premiere broadcast of Statuesque will take place on Sky 1 at 10 p.m. on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom, as part of a larger commission of twelve silent shorts produced by Hilary Bevan Jones for Endor Productions for the "Twelve Days of Christmas." The musical score for Statuesque is by Sxip Shirey, who is also performing at Symphony Hall on December 31 at 8 p.m.
The 10 p.m. concert will feature Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in the first-ever performance of Sxip Shirey’s "A Melody for Lizzie," for strings with live and digital bells (via laptop), which Shirey will play himself. The concert also features the world premiere of a new video by film artist Michael Pope. Filmed in Symphony Hall, it features live orchestra accompaniment to the Overture from Bjork's Selmasongs, inspired by the Iceland artist’s film Dancer in the Dark, and is a retelling of the fable of Father Time passing the torch to Baby New Year. Amanda Palmer will take the stage for the second half of the main stage performance, performing the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, material from her ground-breaking punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, and songs from her recent solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer?, as well as several musical surprises.
This special New Year’s Eve celebration begins at 8 p.m. and features a wide variety of pre- and post-concert performances throughout the Hall, including Sxip Shirey and Adam Matta, April Smith and her band The Great Picture Show, Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade, the Coin-Operated Cabaret, and several roaming performers.