When the first sound of the evening comes from a theremin you know it’s not going to be your average concert.
Indeed, not much about composer Danny Elfman - or his cohort artist and director Tim Burton - is average.
He has composed soundtracks for more than 80 films plus hit TV theme tunes including The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives.
The concert at the NIA took us through the scores of Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Beetlejuice, Batman, Mars Attacks, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland and more, with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a 45-piece choir.
The musical performance accompanied giant projections of Burton’s sketches for each film, giving a rare behind-the-scenes view of how this off-the-wall artist develops his quirky productions with their trademark dark edge.
But the real joy came when all visual distractions were dispensed and the audience was allowed to lose itself in the music.
Elfman’s genius is the kind that can take an orchestra through three wildly different styles in the space of 16 bars.
And the highlight came when the man himself took to the stage to sing an animated rendition of Jack Skellington’s “What’s this?” from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
A rare and rousing concert that sparked a well-deserved standing ovation from the entire NIA audience.