Overview: The Opera Populaire is up for auction in 1919. The broken chandelier is raised, blowing a wind that transports the patrons back in time to 1870. The troupe members are doing rehearsals for a show when the new owners, Monsieur’s Firmin and Andre, are being escorted around by the old owner. While introducing their new patron, the Vicomte de Chagny (Raoul), the leading soprano becomes upset and quits. She is then replaced by a chorus girl, Christine. Showing she has tremendous potential, Christine becomes the permanent replacement. The Phantom makes his first appearance and demands for how his threatre is to be ran. During the performance, Raoul realizes Christine is his childhood sweetheart and rushes to her after the show. However the Phantom whisks her off to his underground home, seducing her to stay with him. He allows her to go back and sing in the operas and makes new demands of the new owners, but they do not wish to comply and bring back Carlotta, the original diva. A stagehand dies, and operas are sabotaged for their disobedience. Christine opens up to Raoul, who brushes it off and proposes to her. After weeks of no sign of the Opera Ghost, there is a masquerade where he appears and demands they perform a new opera written by himself. For this they comply and Christine is once again taken into the bowels of the theatre. In an attempt to save her, Raoul is trapped and threatened with death if Christine chooses to leave with him. Telling the Phantom she would never love him, he releases the two realizing his mistakes and disappears into the night never to be seen again. We are brought back to 1919 and Raoul is taken to Christine’s headstone. He places the music box he bought at the auction next to a red rose with a black satin bow. The Phantom’s calling card.
Review: The world’s most recognized opera, expresses the battle between light and dark. Raoul is light, where most people live and thrive. The Phantom, seductive darkness, where people are free to be themselves without consequences of society. Some may view this musical as a fight between good and evil, but the Phantom was not evil. He was simply a disfigured man who fell in love. He was not shown much compassion himself growing up so of course he is going to go about expressing his love awkwardly.
I have seen and heard a few others perform the part of Christine, and in my opinion Emmy Rossum is the best so far. I have ear issues, and most soprano high notes hurt them. The notes tend to sound screechy and almost like a scream, causing an immediate headache. However Emmy’s voice is so nice and clear voice and her work in “Think of Me” clinched it for me. The last twenty seconds or so were magnificent. Emmy is the only one I have heard perform those note jumps so beautifully and crisply. Most go through slides in order to reach the notes, but Emmy hits them precisely without the use of runs. Now I’m not saying she is perfect, because there were spots where her voice hit some rough spots for me, but she is the best.
Now Gerard Butler, dreamy! Honestly I think he is a big part as to why I fell in love with the musical so much. I usually enjoy baritone voices more then tenors, but his voice has a nice mix of the two and is perfect for the dark and brooding Phantom.
Maybe I am just more in tune with the darkness, but I hate Raoul. He is just another rich guy, where the Phantom is one of a kind. He loves her and wants to be loved. He should have been the one Christine ended up with.
I first watched this musical in choir and band classes. Having them back to back I literally had to watch it twice in a row, which was OK with me because I fell in love with the darkness of the story. It was amazing how both classes bonded so well with the music and storyline. After we completed the video, we begged to perform a medley at our spring concert both for choir and band. Even after the concert, we would use the medley to warm up as we were so attached as a class to this one musical. It is actually one of the things that brought me and my high school boyfriend together. We would spend hours talking about it.
My favorite song has always been “Masquerade” but I’m not sure why. It it always the one that gets stuck in my head for days and the choreography is interesting. It tickled me to see a performer doing a little popping while surrounded by lords and ladies dancing something more traditional, but it still didn’t seem out of place.
Together, my ex and I dare say the class as well, had a deep seeded love for “The Point of No Return” as well. It is up to this point everyone believes that Christine belongs with Raoul, but once the song belongs you can see that it is The Phantom who is her soulmate. Even Raoul is so overcome with the passion shown between the two. Sadly the moment is shattered when she is reminded of Raoul through a reprisal of “All I Ask of You.”
I did have a song that I don’t really care for. It could be because it was too sappy or it was too slow, but I never have cared for “Wishing You were Somehow Here Again.”