A video of conductor Christopher Dragon persevering inside a rapidly deflating dinosaur costume is doing the rounds online following a wardrobe malfunction at the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s A Symphonic Tribute to Comic-Con concert last week. This was not the first time the Australian conductor had swapped tails for a tail, having led the theme music from John Williams’ Jurassic Park score in appropriate attire with the Colorado Symphony last year.
“It’s a huge suit,” Dragon told Limelight in an interview ahead of the concert with WASO. “It’s actually inflated, there’s a fan inside that inflates it, but as you see, the T-Rex has tiny arms which is hilarious, so being inside the suit, the only part of my arms I could use was my wrists, so that’s kind of a good thing technique-wise. But it was fun! I love doing stuff like that, I think music doesn’t have to be taken so seriously all the time.”
But the costumed conductor wasn’t expecting quite this much mirth at last week’s performance. “As I was conducting I heard a big thud and thought… ‘Uh oh’,” he told Limelight after the concert. “I knew something had fallen off the suit.”
“In one of the videos you can actually see a ring pop off, which bounces to the feet of the concertmaster – a lot of the musicians at the front notice it and immediately begin to crack up,” he explained. “It started to deflate rapidly and all that was running through my head was ‘how soon can I get to the end!’”
The video of Dragon struggling valiantly to conduct as the suit collapses around him has since gone viral. “OMG that’s HILARIOUS 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣,” pianist Cedric Tiberghien – who is due to perform Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto with the orchestra in August – commented on Instagram. When told the WASO musicians would be wearing tails at his concert, the pianist replied: “That’s utterly disappointing… my T-Rex was already cleaned and ironed.”