Stambaugh screens silent classic

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A silent horror classic will get live organ accompaniment this weekend at Stambaugh Auditorium.

“Nosferatu,” a German horror film directed by F.W. Murnau and released in 1922, is a thinly disguised version of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Unable to get the rights to Stoker’s book, the filmmakers changed the name but kept the vampire premise. Instead of Dracula, it’s Count Orlok, played by Max Schrek, who lives in a Transylvania castle and becomes infatuated with a woman after seeing a photograph of her.

It was remade in 1979 as “Nosferatu the Vampyre,” and Willem Dafoe played Schrek in 2000’s “Shadow of the Vampire,” which focused on the difficulties making the original movie and the strained relationship between Schrek and Murnau (John Malkovich).

Performing on Stambaugh’s E.M. Skinner pipe organ and providing the soundtrack for the silent film will be Peter Richard Conte.

Conte is the grand court organist of the Wanamaker Organ in Macy’s at City Center, Philadelphia, where he performs twice daily six days a week. The Wanamaker Organ is a 28,000-pipe instrument, billed as the largest fully functioning musical instrument in the world.

Conte became the grand court organist in 1989 and is just the fourth person to hold the title since the organ was first played in 1911. He previously performed at Stambaugh with silent film accompaniment “Metropolis” and “The Kid” in 2015.

“Nosferatu” will be shown at 4 p.m. Sunday at Stambaugh, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown. Admission is free, but tickets are required and are available at the Stambaugh box office, at www.stambaughauditorium.com and by calling 330-259-0555.

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