Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Phantom of the Opera

I'm a bit behind the times sometimes and it's taken me all these years to be blown away by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera.

I've enjoyed his other musicals and I saw Cats live when it toured a few years back, but for some reason I'd never seen the stage version of Phantom (I saw the Gerard Butler movie, but it didn't really impress me much).

For Christmas my mum bought me the 25th Anniversary edition filmed at The Royal Albert Hall, starring Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess. Sierra has an amazing voice and plays the part of Christine Daaé very well; but, it's Karimloo's performance that I have found incredible.  He shows so much emotion and his voice is fantastic.  I youtubed a couple of clips of Michael Crawford as The Phantom as I'd read that he played it quite creepily, but I don't like his voice.  I like the 'rock edge' of Karimloo's voice, and he also makes for a very sexy phantom too, though I know The Phantom himself should not be so attractive (but I didn't cast him!).

So, of course I needed to see how close the musical is to the Gaston Leroux novel which was published in 1911.  I'm 3/4 of the way through it and I can see that the major elements are there in the musical.  The novel is written under the premise that it is based on investigations by Leroux into the strange happenings at the Opera and the disappearance of Christine.  Leroux claimed that Erik (The Phantom) was real, but in fact non of this was true.  The book did not sell well, although the Lon Chaney movie was quite successful.  It was out of print when Webber started writing the musical so he certainly gave it a new lease of life.

I'm watching it again as I write this post and I'm getting the CD from my daughter for my birthday next month, and then I can listen to it in the car, and at work, and ................. I'm totally addicted!

I'm off to the GCAC now to satisfy another addiction - Spanish horror movies.  I"m going to see The Skin I Live In by Pedro Almaldovar.

Happy Australia Day.


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