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The Phantom of the Opera- An unforgettable classic
Phantom of the Opera
Member Name: bethypops1
Phantom of the Opera
Date: 12/02/11, updated on 12/02/11 (31 review reads)
Advantages: Brilliant stage performances, special effects
Disadvantages: Sound hiccup
Andrew Lloyd Webber's production, The Phantom of the Opera, both in film and in theatre is in my view one of the most stunning musicals of all time. The show is now in its 24th consecutive year of performance at Her Majesty's theatre, London proving just how brilliantly successful the story is.
Arriving at the theatre on the afternoon of Tuesday 18th November for the matinee performance I had high expectations for the musical. An epic love story unfolded, keeping my eyes glued to the stage throughout. With breathtaking performances from Sofia Escabar as Christine Daae and John Owen-Jones as the phantom the show is far from disappointing.
Christine Daae is an orphaned ballet dancer at the Paris Opera house where she is brought up by Madame Giry her ballet teacher. Her father, a famous musician, passed away when she was young and tells her she will be protected by an angel of music sent by him. Throughout her childhood she grows up hearing the voice of what she believes to be the angel of music, teaching her to sing. Infact, this is the voice of the phantom, a deformed musical genius who falls in love with Christine as he watches her grow and develops her beautiful voice. Despite his love, Christine falls for childhood sweetheart Raoul, the Vicompte De Chagny as she is thrust into the spotlight. Much to the phantoms jealousy he vows to make Christine his own bride. Unravelling a performance of sheer tragedy; love, music and revenge in this unforgettable, timeless classic.
The role of John Owen-Jones as the phantom, one of the major male leads in the musical, was brilliantly executed, leaving the audience wanting more after every scene. Throughout, as a spectator I really felt his pain and it was clear that the audience felt it too, particularly in Act 1 Scene 10 where he really brings the character into his own. During this scene the unrequited love the phantom holds for Christine is brought to the forefront of the play, as Raoul and Christine declare their love for one another without knowledge of the phantom's presence. Utter heartbreak is felt as the phantom bursts out from the shadows and starts to sing the final passionate lines of 'All I ask of you'.
The tone of the play changes unequivocally, emphasised by the key change in music, minor chords are used and a sense of foreboding now emanates throughout the audience. Ultimately leaving the emotionally captured viewers wondering what his character will do next. I feel the role was very appropriately cast, a passionate actor playing an emotionally taxing, crucial role, undoubtedly contributing towards the overall effect of the play.
The lighting and sound play integral parts in creating the various moods throughout the production. In some scenes of the play it is the accompaniment of the sound and lighting that makes the performance so spell-binding. During Act 1 Scene 4 the intricate lighting reflects the dark and gloomy ambience of the scene, where the phantom leads a captivated Christine deep into the chambers of the opera house. The mesmerising music played whilst Christine is being lead down the passage way is responsible for allowing the audience to connect with the seductive power of the Phantom's voice. The lake which is brought to life by the use of dry ice adds to the enchanting aura of the scene. Illusion is created by the use of dry ice, heightening the mystery and magic surrounding the Phantom furthermore.
Throughout the entirety of the performance the genius of Andrew Lloyd Weber is heard in all its wonder.
The orchestral music complimented the changing tones of the production seamlessly. In some scenes the sound helps emphasise the magnitude of emotions being felt by the characters. An example of where the music helps to change the mood of the production is in the "masquerade ball" scene where utter euphoria is turned into complete shock and horror. However during the scene where the cast are performing 'Don Juan' there was a slight screeching sound coming from one of the microphones, taking attention away from the performance and to the microphone malfunction.
When comparing the film to the theatre production, I preferred the artistic interpretation of the masquerade ball in the film. Due to the monotone costumes worn by the performers it seemed to make the pandemonium clear, as the phantom then appears in bold red making a visual statement. In contrast to the theatre production where I felt as though the phantom was lost within the commotion and was not easily identifiable.
Overall, my experience of Phantom of the Opera has been exceptionally memorable. A brilliantly directed, heart rending performance combined with superb costumes, scenery and special effects I am certainly in a hurry to see this production again soon. A definite must see for all musical lovers.
Summary: Brilliant performance, in a hurry to see this again!
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