Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour-
Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- is an official orchestral concert of Kingdom Hearts music performed by a full orchestra. It is the first orchestral concert and first world tour for the series's music. It was created for the 15th anniversary of the series.
The concert was announced on the Kingdom Hearts Japanese Twitter page on April 26, 2016. A Facebook page and website were created to promote the concert. The concert premiered on March 10, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.
According to both series director Tetsuya Nomura and series music composer Yoko Shimomura, the idea for concerts based on the music of the Kingdom Hearts series had been discussed for a long time. Yoko Shimomura created a rough draft of the concert program, which Tetsuya Nomura checked and accepted. Unlike the Concert -First Breath- performances, all the performances for Orchestra -World Tour- have videos from the games that accompany each musical piece—with the exception of "Twinkle Twinkle Holidays", which did not feature a video.
As part of the announcement of the concert, both Nomura and Shimomura released statements:
During the initial announcement in 2017, eleven performances were announced. The positive reaction to the announcement prompted the creation of four additional performances: May 13 in Kuala Lumpur, June 11 in Los Angeles, June 23 in New York, and July 8 in Osaka. The Hong Kong performance was originally scheduled for May 28, 2017 at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, but was moved to Hong Kong on April 14.
The 2018 encore performances began later in the year, and features three more performances in twice as many locations. The event returned only to Los Angeles at the beginning of the world tour in June, but in a different venue.
The performance is approximately two hours long, and features seventeen pieces of musical arrangements from the Kingdom Hearts series. The musical pieces were performed by a full orchestra and were accompanied by gameplay footage from all the games. Additionally, the performances featured segments considered canon to the series, including conversations by Kairi, Xion, and Aqua, performed by their Japanese voice actors on-stage. The Tokyo performance on March 11 first featured the conversations by performances of Kairi, Xion, and Aqua's voice actors; subsequent performances featured only the audio with translated subtitles on-screen. The Los Angeles performance on June 10, which coincided with the beginning of E3 2017 in Los Angeles, also premiered a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts III.
The 2018 performances added three songs, with "Dearly Beloved -χ Back Cover Ver.-" replacing "Dearly Beloved -KINGDOM HEARTS II Ver.-" and "Traverse Town" replacing "Twinkle Twinkle Holidays". "Toy Box Medley" is the first public performance of a theme from Kingdom Hearts III.
An album for the concert was announced for public sale on March 12, 2017, and features several, but not all, of the pieces performed at the concert. Originally, the album was available exclusively at each performance. The album released on April 14, 2017 for 3564 yen. On June 26, 2017, Square Enix announced on the Kingdom Hearts Twitter page that the album would be available on the North American online store in August 2017 for $40.
The performance events also featured additional event-exclusive merchandise for sale. The products included T-shirts, the album, and an orchestra guide.
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