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The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)

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The Phantom of the Opera
Logo
MusicAndrew Lloyd Webber
LyricsCharles Hart
Richard Stilgoe (additional)
BookAndrew Lloyd Webber
Charles Hart
Richard Stilgoe
Basis1911 book Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux
Productions1986 London
1988 Broadway, Vienna, Japan Tour #1
1989 Los Angeles, Stockholm, Toronto
1990 Melbourne, Chicago, Hamburg
1991 US Tour #1
1992 US Tour #2
1993 San Francisco, Sydney, Scheveningen, Manchester
1995 Edinburgh, Basel, Singapore, Hong Kong
1996 Australia/New Zealand Tour
1998 UK Tour
1999 Antwerp, Mexico City
2000 Copenhagen
2001 Japan Tour #2 , Seoul
2002 Stuttgart, Madrid
2003 Copenhagen, Budapest
2004 Cape Town, Pretoria, Shanghai
2005 São Paulo, Tokyo, Essen
2006 Las Vegas, Taipei
2007-2009 Australia/New Zealand/Taipei
2008 Warsaw
2009 Buenos Aires
AwardsOliver Award for Best New Musical
Tony Award for Best Musical

The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux. The music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Charles Hart and additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. The musical focuses on a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius known as "The Phantom of the Opera".

Phantom is the most popular, most seen musical ever and is now one of the longest-running musicals in history - surpassing Cats as the longest running Broadway show. According to its official website, it is the most successful entertainment project in history, grossing more than US $5 billion worldwide by 2007.[citation needed]

Contents

History

The Phantom of the Opera opened in London's West End in 1986. The production was directed by Hal Prince, choreographed by Gillian Lynne, designed by Maria Björnson, with lighting by Andrew Bridge.[citation needed]

In 2004, the musical was made into a film, directed by Joel Schumacher, and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In 2008, the West End production surpassed its nine thousandth performance.[citation needed]

In March 2010, a musical sequel is expected to open entitled Phantom: Love Never Dies. It was delayed from its original date of November 2009. The first act was staged at Andrew Lloyd Webber's country home, Sydmonton.[citation needed]

Original West End and Broadway productions

Inspired by an earlier musical version of the same story by Ken Hill (see Phantom of the Opera (1976 musical)), The Phantom of the Opera had its first preview on 27 September, 1986, and opened at Her Majesty's Theatre in London on 9 October of the same year, starring Michael Crawford as the titular character, Sarah Brightman as Christine, and Steve Barton as Raoul. Phantom is now the second-longest-running West End musical in history, behind Les Miserables[1] and celebrated its 9,000th performance there on 31 May 2008.[2]

The musical opened on Broadway, at the Majestic Theatre, on 26 January 1988 and is the longest-running Broadway musical of all time,[3] breaking the record held by Lloyd Webber's Cats on 9 January 2006, with its 7,486th Broadway performance.[4] Crawford, Brightman and Barton reprised their respective roles from the London production. George Lee Andrews, who was in the Broadway company when the production opened in 1988, is still in the current cast. He has been playing the role of André since 2000, having played Firmin for the preceding decade. He holds the Guinness World Record for the longest run in the same Broadway show in history. Mary Leigh Stahl (1988-2006) and Richard Warren Pugh (1988 until his death in 2006) are also long-serving cast members.

The musical won both the Olivier Award and Tony Award as the best musical in its debut years on the West End and Broadway. Both the London and New York productions are still running as of 2009. According to the musical's website, it has been seen in 124 cities in 25 countries and played to over 100 million people. With total worldwide box office takings of over £3.5bn ($5.1bn), Phantom is the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time.[5] The New York production alone has grossed US $715 million, making it the most financially successful Broadway show in history.[4] In a sign of its continuing popularity, Phantom ranked second in a 2006 BBC Radio 2 listener poll of the "Nation's Number One Essential Musicals".[6]

Michael Crawford won a Tony Award in 1988 for his role as the title character, as well as an Olivier Award in 1986.[7]

Development

Idea

In the winter of 1984, Cameron Makintosh, the co-producer of Cats and Song and Dance received a phone call. Andrew Lloyd Webber was looking to create a new musical. He was aiming for a romantic piece, but having trouble reining in a worthwhile idea, and, hitting upon the idea of using Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, recently turned into a moderately-successful rock-musical at London's West End, as a base,and pitched the idea. Cameron and Lloyd Webber attended version, but were not satisfied with what they had seen. They screened both the 1925 Lon Chaney and the 1943 Claude Raines film versions, but neither were able to gain any material that might be useful in making the leap from book to stage. While in New York, Lloyd Webber tracked down a copy of the long out-of-print Gothic/Horror novel at book fair and read it. At last had found what he was looking for.He described finding it heavily romantic, exactly the kind of material he was looking for, and began work from there devolping it to fit into musical form.

Lyricists

Lloyd Webber approached Jim Steinman to write the lyrics because of his "dark obsessive side", but the writer/producer declined in order to fulfill his commitments on a Bonnie Tyler album.[8] The pair did eventually collaborate on Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of Whistle Down the Wind.

Alan Jay Lerner was then recruited, but died soon after beginning the project, and none of his contributions remained in the show. Richard Stilgoe, who also wrote the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express, then wrote lyrics for the production, as well as devising most of the titles for the songs. However, the composer felt that Stilgoe's lyrics were too witty and clever, rather than romantic. Charles Hart, a young and relatively unknown lyricist was invited to rewrite the lyrics, even contributing almost solely to an unplaced tune by Lloyd Webber, which later became "Think of Me". Some of Stilgoe's original contributions are still present in the final version.[9]

Score

Lloyd Webber's score is sometimes operatic in style but he maintains the form and structure of a musical throughout. The fully-fledged operatic writing is reserved principally for the subsidiary characters such as the theatre managers, Andre and Firmin; their Prima Donna, Carlotta; and principal tenor, Piangi. Fittingly, it is also used to provide the content of the fictional "operas" that are taking place within the show itself. i.e.; Hannibal, Il Muto, and the Phantom's masterwork, Don Juan Triumphant. Here, Lloyd Webber affectionately pastiches various styles from the grand operas of Meyerbeer through to Mozart and even Gilbert and Sullivan (Coveney, 1999). These pieces are often presented as musical fragments, interrupted by dialogue or action sequences in order to clearly define the musical's "show within a show" format. The musical extracts we hear from the Phantom's opera, "Don Juan Triumphant", during the latter stages of the show, are much more dissonant and modern – suggesting, perhaps, that the phantom is ahead of his time artistically (Snelson, 2004). This is also displayed when The Phantom makes his entrance on the show's title song. Andrew had said himself that the title song was "Rock n' roll merely masquerading as opera". For the characters of Christine, the Phantom, and Raoul, the direct and "natural" style of modern song is used rather than the more decorative aspects of aria; their material provides the musical centre of the piece.[citation needed]

Design

For the costume and set design of the show, Maria Björnson was recruited. She alone designed over 200 costumes, the most spectacular of all shown in the Masquerade sequence. Björnson went into meticulous detail with the sets, visiting the real Paris opera house in which the story is set to gain a feel for what the look of the show should be and grasp the feeling of 1880s theatre.[citation needed]

Direction

Hal Prince, director of such theatrical classics as Cabaret, Candide, Follies, and Webber's Evita was chosen. He proved an excellent choice and worked closely with the crew and cast to get the best possible performances of everyone.

First Preview At Sydmonton

The first act of The Phantom of the Opera was staged at Sydmonton (Andrew Lloyd Webber's home). It starred Colm Wilkinson as the Phantom (who would go on to play the Phantom in the Toronto production from 1989 until 1994), Sarah Brightman as Kristin (the name was eventually changed to Christine) and Clive Carter as Raoul (who would also go on to play Raoul in London in 1994). The lyrics were written by Richard Stilgoe. The preview was very different from the final version of the show. Most of the songs had different names. For example, "Think of Me" was originally "What Has Time Done to Me", and "Notes" was originally "Papers".[citation needed] In addition, the Phantom's mask was changed to a silver mask that covered the eyes and nose instead of the current half-mask, as it obstructed the actor playing the Phantom's vision and obscured his face too completely from the audience. The unmasking sequence was excluded. The preview received mixed reviews. Short clips of the preview performance are featured on disc 2 of the DVD of the 2004 film version.[citation needed]

Major characters

Below is the list of major characters including cast and former cast members of West End and Broadway productions[10]:

  • Christine Daaé† (soprano) — A Swedish chorus girl at the Opera, and the orphaned daughter of a prominent violinist. Although talented, she lacks focus until the Phantom takes her under his wing and teaches her to sing. Note: This character requires two doubles in the performance.
  • West End: Rosemary Ashe (opening cast), Maria Moll, Morgan McLaren, Julia Goss, Sandra Dugdale, Paula Bott, Valda Aviks, Rosemarie Arthars, Jasna Ivir, Margaret Preece, Shan Cothi, An Lawereins, Nan Christie, Judith Garder Jones, Sally Harrison, Wendy Ferguson, Kate Radmilovic, and Rebecca Lock.
  • Broadway: Judy Kaye (opening cast), Marilyn Caskey, Elena Jeanne Batman, Patricia Hurd, Elena Jeanne Batman, Leigh Munro, Liz McCartney, Rebecca Eighenberger, Patricia Phillips, and Anne Runolfsson. Patricia Phillips currently plays Carlotta, and is the first African-American to play the role on Broadway.
  • West End: Mary Millar (opening cast), Penelope Mackay, Sally Smith, Patricia Cope, Evette Davis, Heather Jackson, Ann Aldem, Janet Murphy, Liz Robertson, and Annette Yeo. Jackson played the role on and off from 1996 until 2009.
  • Broadway: Leila Martin (opening cast), Marilyn Caskey, Sally Williams, and Rebecca Judd, and Cristin Hubbard. Martin and Caskey each played the role for close to ten years. Cristin Hubbard recently took over the part from Rebecca Judd.
  • Meg Giry (mezzo-soprano) — Madame Giry's daughter, a member of the ballet chorus, and Christine's best friend.
  • West End: Janet Devenish (opening cast), Heidi Ann O'Brien, Lindsey Wise, Tori Johns, Emma Harris.
  • Broadway: Elisa Heinsohn (opening cast), Catherine Ulissey, Tener Brown, Geralyn Del Corso, Jennifer Dawn Stillings, Joelle Gates, Heather McFadden, Kara Klein, and Polly Baird. McFadden, who recently returned from maternity leave, currently portrays the role.
  • Monsieur Richard Firmin (baritone) — The grouchy manager of the Paris Opera.
  • West End: John Savident, Barry James (2008-present)
  • Broadway: Nicholas Wyman (1989-1990), George Lee Andrews (1990-2000), Jeff Keller (2000-2005), and David Cryer (current)
  • Monsieur Gilles André (baritone) — The artistic albeit flighty manager of the Paris Opera.
  • West End: David Firth, Peter Land, Sam Hiller, Gareth Snook (2008-present)
  • Broadway: Cris Groenendaal (1989-1990), Jeff Keller (1990-2000), George Lee Andrews (2000-present)

NOTE: As noted above, George Lee Andrews is the only actor in both the London and Broadway productions to have been with the show since it began.

  • Ubaldo Piangi (tenor) — The Opéra's leading tenor, Carlotta Giudicelli's husband. In the Hungarian non-replica version of the musical, the character's first name is Umberto instead of Ubaldo.
  • West End: Benjamin Lake (2007), Rohan Tickell (current)
  • Broadway: Evan Harrington (current)
  • Joseph Buquet (baritone/bass) — The Opéra's chief stagehand, who knows something about the Phantom's identity.
  • Monsieur Reyer (spoken role) — The Opéra's chief répétiteur, or director. In the West End, Philip Griffiths has been playing this role for close to twenty years, as well as the role of the Auctioneer.
  • Monsieur Lefèvre (spoken role) — The previous owner of the Opéra Populaire, who sells the theatre to Firmin and André.[11]

† Two actresses are used for the role of Christine (rather than just the actress and an understudy), with the second performing the role two shows a week. This is to provide vocal rest, due to the fact that the role is more vocally demanding than many contemporary singers can handle night after night.

Synopsis

Prologue

At the Paris Opera House in 1911 [12], an auction is underway. Set pieces from the old theatre are being sold. Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, purchases a music box 'in the shape of barrel organ'. Lot 666 is then up, which is a chandelier in pieces. The auctioneer mentions that the chandelier was involved in the "strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera, a mystery never fully explained." The chandelier illuminates and slowly begins to rise to the rafters of the theatre as the opera house is restored to its original grandeur (Overture).

Act I

At the Paris Opera House in 1881 [13], a rehearsal for Hannibal is underway. Monsieur Lefevre, the owner, announces that he has sold the theatre to two new managers, Monsieur Firmin and Monsieur André. They observe two of the ballet dancers, Meg Giry and her friend, Christine Daaé, with some curiosity. André asks Carlotta, the resident diva, to sing an aria. She agrees, but in the middle of the song, a backdrop suddenly falls dangerously close to her. The company blames the accident on the Opera Ghost. Carlotta has dealt with such incidents for several years, and says that she has had too much of it. She quits, taking Piangi, the tenor, with her. The managers lament having to cancel the show, but Meg quickly suggests they consider Christine to replace Carlotta. They agree to hear her sing, and Christine starts her song ("Think of Me") tentatively, but as she impresses the entire company with her voice the scene changes to the night of the performance. Christine, now in costume as the leading lady, makes a triumphant début.

The managers and Raoul (the new patron of the Opera House) look on from the stage box. Raoul is particularly impressed; he remembers Christine from their childhood. After the performance, Madame Giry praises Christine and castigates the ballet girls, forcing them to practice into the night. The Phantom's voice in the distance commends Christine on that night's performance. Meg sneaks away from the rehearsal to find Christine outside her dressing room. She expresses her delight in her friend's change of fortune but wonders how it occurred. Christine tells Meg that the Angel of Music has been tutoring her in singing during the night and thinks he has been sent from Heaven by her father. The two discuss this mysterious teacher ("Angel of Music") until Madame Giry arrives to retrieve Meg and to deliver a note from Raoul.

File:PhantomoftheOpera-BoatScene.PNG
Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman performing the title song

The managers bring Raoul to Christine's dressing room. She is pleased to see him, and reminisces with him ("Little Lotte"). She tells him the Angel of Music has visited her, and he, impressed by the beauty of her voice, says he is sure she has, not realising that the Angel is not just imaginary. He invites her to dinner, but she declines because the Angel of Music would be angry. When Raoul leaves, the Phantom sings to Christine about his displeasure that Raoul is trying to court her ("Angel of Music/The Mirror"). Christine pleads for his forgiveness and begs the Angel to show himself. He complies, revealing himself behind Christine's mirror. The Phantom takes Christine behind the mirror and through a series of underground tunnels to his lair ("The Phantom of the Opera"), where he entreats her to sing for him. The Phantom later serenades her ("Music of the Night") eventually showing her a life-size doll resembling Christine in a wedding gown. The doll then reaches out to grab her, and Christine faints. The Phantom, realising that showing her the doll was too much, carries her to a bed.

The next morning, Christine sees the Phantom bent over his organ, furiously composing ("I Remember..."). As she sneaks up behind him, her curiosity gets the better of her, and she pulls back his mask. She sees his deformity behind the mask, though the audience does not. Furiously chasing her about the lair, he challenges her to look at his face and in the end they finally both fall to the ground. The Phantom tries to explain that he only wants to be like everyone else, and that he hopes she will learn to love him in spite of his face ("Stranger than You Dreamt It"). She returns his mask and the two have a moment of understanding before he returns her to the surface. As the Phantom and Christine sneak back into the theatre, Joseph Buquet regales the ballet girls with terrible tales of the mysterious Opera Ghost ("Magical Lasso"), warning them that the only way to protect themselves is to "keep your hand at the level of your eyes." The Phantom catches sight of them, and the ballet girls run off screaming. Madame Giry warns Buquet to exercise restraint, or the consequences will be severe.

In the managers' office, Firmin, Andre, Raoul, and Carlotta are puzzled by several cryptic notes received from the "Opera Ghost" and blame each other for them. Madame Giry arrives with another note in which the Phantom tells the managers to keep Box Five free for him, to give the leading role in the opera Il Muto to Christine, and relegate Carlotta to the silent part of a pageboy. ("Notes..."). Carlotta accuses Raoul of orchestrating the whole event and claims that he has had an affair with Christine. Fearing the loss of their main soprano (and her lover, the principal tenor, Piangi) the managers promise her that she will keep her leading role ("Prima Donna").

At Il Muto that night, Carlotta indeed plays the role of the Countess; Christine is the mute pageboy. Raoul decides to sit in Box Five to watch the show. The show is going well ("Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh"), until the Phantom appears on the proscenium arch. He startles everyone by yelling out that the managers did not keep box five empty. However, they nervously continue the show. He then furiously tantalises Carlotta and makes her voice croak like a frog. Humiliated, she flees into Piangi's arms. The show stops, and the managers announce that it will resume with Christine as the Countess. The ballet chorus is sent out to entertain the waiting crowd, but the performance is interrupted when the backdrop lifts to reveal the corpse of Joseph Buquet hanging from the rafters. In the ensuing melee, Christine finds Raoul and takes him to the roof where they will be safe from the Phantom's machinations.

On the roof, Christine tries to tell Raoul that she has seen the Phantom's face and has been in his lair, but Raoul does not believe her ("Why Have You Brought Me Here?/Raoul, I've Been There"). Christine hears the Phantom, but Raoul looks around and sees no one. Raoul promises to love and protect her always ("All I Ask of You"). The two make plans to see each other after the show. After Christine and Raoul head back downstairs, The Phantom emerges, having heard the entire conversation. He is heartbroken, but his sorrow turns to rage and he vows vengeance against Raoul ("All I Ask of You (Reprise)"). Returning to the theatre, he sends the mighty chandelier crashing down upon the stage during the curtain call.

Act II

Everyone is in attendance at the masquerade ball ("Masquerade"). The Phantom has not shown himself for six months. Christine and Raoul are now engaged. To Raoul's dismay, Christine insists on hiding her ring, which is on a chain around her neck. The Phantom enters, dressed as the title character from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death". He announces that he has written an opera, and that he expects the managers to produce it ("Why So Silent?"). He also confronts Christine, takes her engagement ring from her, shouting that she belongs to him and then disappears in a puff of smoke.

The Phantom's opera, Don Juan Triumphant, causes chaos and arguments among the managers and actors. Christine has been granted the largest part in the opera, which angers everyone. She tells the managers she does not 'want any part in this plot' because she fears the Phantom will capture her. Raoul realises that they can use the opera as a trap to capture the Phantom ("Notes/Twisted Every Way"). Christine is unhappy with the idea, as she does not want the Phantom dead. Tormented by the choice she must make, she flees the room.

Rehearsals begin, everyone converses and Carlotta and Madame Giry argue about the song. Finally, Carlotta sings the song mockingly. The piano starts to play by itself and everyone sings along mechanically except for Christine. She visits her father's grave to try to make sense of the situation, longing that he were there to help her make the right decision ("Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"). The Phantom appears and sings to her, again in the guise of the Angel of Music ("Wandering Child"). Christine easily falls under his spell once more.

Raoul enters the scene and brings Christine back to reality. The two men verbally spar ("Bravo, Monsieur!"), while the Phantom shoots fireballs down at Raoul but Christine begs Raoul to run away with her. Enraged, the Phantom declares that they have both become his enemies ("Now let it be war upon you BOTH!") and launches a final fireball, incinerating the graveyard in a dramatic explosion of flames.

Back at the Opera House, Raoul and the police go over plans to trap the Phantom. Raoul instructs a marksman hiding in the orchestra pit to kill the Phantom and the police set out to bar all the exits. The voice of the Phantom is heard, taunting them. He appears in Box Five but vanishes as the marksman fires. Raoul rounds on him; the Phantom interrupts, insisting they show the play as usual ("Don Juan Triumphant"). Christine appears on stage to sing ("The Point of No Return"). The operatic title character "Don Juan" appears onstage, with his face covered. During her duet with "Don Juan", Christine realises she is singing with the Phantom instead of Piangi for whom the part was originally intended. The Phantom gives her a ring and expresses his love. Christine whips off his mask (and this time, additionally, a wig) to reveal his misshapen face and bald, deformed skull to everyone but before the police can intervene, the Phantom drags Christine offstage. Carlotta cries out in horror as Piangi is discovered dead, and a mob sets out to track down the Phantom. Madame Giry locates Raoul to take him to the bridge above the lake, and tells him where to find the Phantom. She warns him of the Punjab lasso, telling him to keep "your hand at the level of your eyes". Raoul asks that she come with him but Madame Giry insists that it is too dangerous.

File:PotOFinalScene.PNG
Steve Barton and Sarah Brightman in the final scene
Down in the lair, the Phantom has forced Christine to put on the wedding dress ("Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer"). Christine asks if he is going to kill her, whereupon he assures her that he would not and that his face is the reason that she will not love him. Christine declares that she is not afraid of his face but his soul. Raoul arrives, pleading for Christine's safe return. The Phantom admits him to the lair but Christine and Raoul's reunion is cut short when the Phantom snares Raoul in the Punjab lasso. The Phantom offers Christine an ultimatum: either he will kill Raoul and let Christine go, or she will stay with him and Raoul can go free ("Final Lair").

The Phantom insists that she must choose. Christine sadly tells the Phantom that he deceived her. Raoul apologises and expresses his love for Christine, telling her that as long as she is safe from the Phantom it does not matter what happens to him. Finally, Christine makes her choice and kisses the Phantom. Stunned by the kiss, which is the first real human love he has ever felt, he sets Raoul free and releases Christine. He asks them both to keep his existence a secret.

The young lovers leave but a moment later Christine returns with the Phantom's ring. The Phantom declares his love for her; she hands back his ring and forces herself to turn away. She and Raoul leave in the Phantom's boat, singing to each other. The Phantom sobs into the wedding veil Christine has left behind and, as the mob approaches, sings his last line: "It's over now, the music of the night!" He sits in his throne and pulls his cape around him. Meg slips through the bars in the gate and searches for Christine and approaches the throne to find that the Phantom has vanished, leaving behind only his mask.[11]

Musical numbers

Act One
  • "Prologue"
  • "Overture"
  • "Hanibal" - Carlotta, Piangi, Chorus and Ballet Girls
  • "Think of Me" (Part 1) – Carlotta, Ballet Girls, Andre and Buquet
  • "Think of Me" (Part 2) - Christine and Raoul
  • "Angel of Music" – Meg and Christine
  • "Little Lotte/The Mirror (Angel of Music)" – Christine, Raoul and Phantom
  • "The Phantom of the Opera" – Phantom and Christine
  • "The Music of the Night" – Phantom
  • "I Remember/Stranger than You Dreamt It" – Christine and Phantom
  • "Magical Lasso" – Buquet, Meg, Madame Giry, and Ballet Girls
  • "Notes/Prima Donna" – Firmin, André, Raoul, Carlotta, Madame Giry, Meg, Piangi and Phantom
  • "Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh (Il Muto)" – Carlotta and Company
  • "Why Have You Brought Me Here?/Raoul, I've Been There" – Raoul and Christine
  • "All I Ask of You" – Raoul and Christine
  • "All I Ask of You (Reprise)" – Phantom
Act Two
  • "Entr'acte"
  • "Masquerade/Why So Silent" – Company
  • "Notes II" - Firmin, Andre, Carlotta, Piangi, Raoul, Christine and Madame Gery
  • "Twisted Every Way" – Christine and Raoul
  • "A Rehearsal for Don Juan Triumphant" - Chorus, Carlotta, Piangi and Christine
  • "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" – Christine
  • "Wandering Child/Bravo, Monsieur!" – Phantom, Christine and Raoul
  • "The Point of No Return" – Phantom and Christine
  • "Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer" – Phantom, Christine, Raoul and Company
  • "Final Lair" – Phantom, Christine and Raoul

The show is staged with an Orchestra consisting of 27 musicians, which is large by comparison with most recent Broadway musicals. The show uses 18 instruments and multiple percussion instruments. The majority of the orchestra are string instruments, with large woodwind and brass sections; the percussion section is quite small. The show uses both acoustic instruments and synthesisers.

Instrumentation

The Phantom of the Opera requires a larger orchestra than most modern musical theatre works, which includes 27 parts:

The Pre-Recorded Track includes an Organ, Synthesizers, Synth Drums, Electric Guitars, and Electric Bass.

In addition to the live orchestra, the show requires a pre-recorded track during the Overture and during the much of the title song. The reasoning behind this is that is in part necessary, due to the noisy mechanics of the motorised boat and other effects during the Journey to the Lair sequence, that much of the unwanted mechanical noise is not picked up by the actor's microphones. The conductor wears headphones and listens to a click track to keep the orchestra synchronised with the pre-recorded tracks. Most of the Phantom's off-stage voiceovers are pre-recorded, as well as Christine's high note at the end of the title song (E6) due to the stress it can put on the voice when sung many times a week.

Recordings

Cast recordings of the London, German, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Hungarian and Canadian productions have been made.

When the Original London Cast Album was released in CD format in 1987, it became the first album in British musical history to enter at #1 on the UK albums chart. It has since gone both gold and platinum in Britain and the U.S. selling over 40 million copies worldwide, making it the biggest-selling cast album of all time. The cast recording/soundtrack of the film adaptation was released in 2004.

While never released to the general public, there is a video recording of an early performance of the musical with Michael Crawford that is only available to certain people involved with the show[citation needed]. Whether or not it will ever be released remains in question.

Sequel

Andrew Lloyd Webber has finished work on the musical's sequel with a book by Ben Elton and lyrics by Glen Slater,[14] titled Love Never Dies and is loosely adapted from the novel The Phantom of Manhattan, published in 1999, written by Frederick Forsyth.

The Daily Mail announced in May 2007 that the sequel was temporarily delayed when Lloyd Webber's cat, Otto, a rare-breed Turkish Van, climbed onto Webber's digital Clavinova piano and managed to delete the entire score. Lloyd Webber was unable to recover any of it from the instrument, but was eventually able to reconstruct the score.[15]

Other productions

Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera has been translated into several languages and produced in over twenty countries on six continents. With only two exceptions (Hungary, Poland), these productions have all been ”clones”, i.e., they use the original staging, direction, sets and costume concepts.[16]

  • Argentina: The Argentine production premiered on 19 March 2009, starring Argentine Carlos Vittori and Juan Pablo Skrt as the Phantom and Mexican Claudia Cota as Christine at Buenos Aires' Teatro Ópera. It closed on Sunday November 29th, 2009 after 194 performances.
  • Australia: 1990 – 1998 Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth; 2007 – 2009, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Auckland, Perth and Adelaide, both starring Anthony Warlow. In the original Australian production, Rob Guest later took over the title role. He played the role for 2,289 performances over seven years, more than any other performer of the role, including Michael Crawford, the original Phantom. [17] The final leg of the more recent tour (starring Warlow, Ana Marina and Alexander Lewis) was staged in Adelaide and was presented in a world-first arena format, allowing an audience of 5000 people and featuring giant screens on either side of the stage that presented footage shot simultaneously with the performance.
  • Austria: The German language production premiered at the Theater an der Wien on 20 December 1988.[18] starring Alexander Goebel as The Phantom, Luzia Nistler as Christine with Alfred Pfeifer as Raoul.
  • Belgium: The Dutch production toured to Belgium. It originally starred Henk Poort as The Phantom, Joke de Kruijf as Christine and Peter de Smet as Raoul.
  • Brazil: São Paulo, premiered at Teatro Abril on 22 April 2005, starring Saulo Vasconcelos as the Phantom, Sara Sarres and Kiara Sasso as Christine and Nando Prado as Raoul.
  • Canada: The Toronto production of Phantom ran for just over ten years. The Music Box Tour (3rd U.S. National Tour) played dates across Canada in 2006 – 2007 including Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Saskatoon and Ottawa. This production starred Colm Wilkinson as the Phantom, Rebecca Caine as Christine, Byron Nease as Raoul and Kimilee Bryant as Carlotta.
  • Canadian International Touring Company: 11 March 1991 – October 1995 toured Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Hong Kong and Singapore
  • China: The Shanghai production played 97 performances at the Shanghai Grand Theatre
  • Denmark: Det Ny Theater, Copenhagen (2000-2001, 2003-2004, 2009)
  • Germany: There have been three German productions, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Essen. Thomas Schulze played the title role in the Hamburg and Stuttgart productions, Ian Jon Bourg played the title role in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Essen productions, Peter Hofmann played it in Hamburg.
  • Hong Kong: First tour – at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre June to October 1995; Second tour – 11 July 2006 to 12 August 2006 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre.
  • Hungary: Madách Theatre, Budapest. This production, which began in 2003, features original sets, costumes and direction. It is the first Phantom that has ever been permitted to change the original staging.[16] The 500th Phantom, held on 20 September 2007 featured 4 sets of casts, interchanging as the show went on. After the curtains rolled down, in a reprise 3 Christines and 4 Phantoms performed the title song once again.
  • Japan: Shiki Productions produced the show in 1988, making it the first production performed in a language other than English. It was still running at the Shiki Theater (四季劇場 Shiki-Gekijō?) in Nagoya as of January 2010.
  • Korea The show starred Young-Seok Yoon as The Phantom, Hye-Kyoung Lee as Christine, Jung-Han Ryu as Raoul. In 2009, the show reopened at Carlotte Theater in Seoul, starring Young-Seok Yoon and Joon-mo Yang as The Phantom, So-hyun Kim and Hyun-ju Choi as Christine, and Kwang-ho Hong and Sang-yoon Jeong as Raoul.
  • Mexico: Mexico City, premiered at Centro Cultural Telmex on 16 December 1999, starring Juan Navarro as the Phantom, Irasema Terrazas as Christine and José Joel as Raoul.
  • The Netherlands: At the Circus Theatre in Scheveningen. More than 1,000 performances (1993-1996) with Henk Poort as the Phantom, Joke de Kruijf as Christine and Peter de Smet as Raoul. Harold Prince said Henk Poort was the best Phantom in the world.
  • New Zealand: Auckland
  • Poland: Warsaw, premiere took place on 15 March 2008 at Teatr Muzyczny Roma. It features original sets, costumes and direction. Performances are scheduled until at least the end of June 2010.
  • Russia: (Rumoured premiere in 2009.)
  • Singapore: 1st tour at the Kallang Theatre from 26 February 1995 to 20 May 1995, 2nd tour at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay from 23 March 2007 to 20 May 2007.[19]
  • South Africa: 2004, Cape Town, The South African State Theatre, Pretoria.
  • Spain: Madrid, premiered at Teatro Lope de Vega on 4 September 2002, starring Luis Amando and Juan Carlos Barona alternating as the Phantom, Felicidad Farag and Julia Möller alternating as Christine and Armando Pita as Raoul.
  • Sweden: 1989 – 1995, Oscarsteatern, Stockholm. More than 1,000 performances. Starring Mikael Samuelson as the Phantom.
  • Switzerland: The musical was performed in both English and German at the Musical Theatre Messe Basel in Switzerland for over a year in 1996 – 1997. Ute Baum played Christine opposite Florian Schneider as the Phantom.
  • Taiwan: began on 18 January 2006 at National Theater and Concert Hall (Taiwan).
  • US: Los Angeles (1989-1993), San Francisco (1993-1998)

There is also a U.S. touring company that has been on the road since 1991.

A film version, starring Gerard Butler as the Phantom, Emmy Rossum as Christine, Patrick Wilson as Raoul, and Minnie Driver as Carlotta, was released in December 2004.[20]

Phantom-The Las Vegas Spectacular

An edited, 95-minute, intermission-less version of the show, renamed Phantom-The Las Vegas Spectacular opened 24 June 2006 in a theatre built for the show at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. This production, which was directed by original director Harold Prince and choreographer Gillian Lynne, with scenic designs by David Rockwell, features state-of-the art technology and effects, and a $40 million, 80 ft (24 m) diameter theater made to look like the Opéra Garnier in Paris.[21] The updated effects include a giant version of the infamous chandelier, composed of four separate pieces rigged to fly together and assemble in mid-air during the overture, as well as advanced pyrotechnics and strobe lighting. Almost every song from the original production was left intact (except "The Point of No Return" and "Poor Fool, He Makes Laugh", which were shortened), but the producers saved time by cutting some dialog (such as the ”keep your hand at the level of your eyes” lines), some dance sequences, the twenty-minute intermission, and the scene in which the cast is practicing Don Juan Triumphant to bring the show length down from the original two hours and twenty minutes. The production is modelled more after the film version, with the chandelier crash occurring after "The Point of No Return" instead of after the "All I Ask of You" reprise.[22]

Due to demanding vocal requirements and performance schedule with two evening performances on two days of the week (and 10 performances a week during holidays), the roles of The Phantom, Christine Daaé, Carlotta Guidicelli were double cast in the production. Brent Barrett and Anthony Crivello were cast as the title character, Sierra Boggess and Elizabeth Loyacano were cast as Christine, and Elena Jeanne Batman and Geena Jeffries were cast as Carlotta.[23][24]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "The Phantom of the Opera: Show awards". Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group. http://www.reallyuseful.com/rug/shows/phantom/awards.htm. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  2. ^ Glendinning, Lee (3 May 2008). "Musical to return louder than ever". The Guardian. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/theatre/drama/story/0,,2277758,00.html. Retrieved 5 May 2008. 
  3. ^ Phantom of the Opera, at the Internet Broadway Database, accessed 31 January 2008
  4. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth (25 January 2006). "Phantom turns 18". Playbill. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/97559.html. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  5. ^ "Phantom musical surpasses record". BBC News. 10 January 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4594084.stm. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  6. ^ Page, Elaine. "BBC Essential Musicals". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/paige/essentialvote.shtml. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "The Phantom of the Opera". http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/the_show/awards.php. 
  8. ^ Bright, Spencer (8 December 1996). "Jim'll Fix It". Sunday Times. http://www.jimsteinman.com/lontimes.htm. Retrieved 9 July 2007. 
  9. ^ Behind the Mask documentary, on the 2004 film DVD
  10. ^ POTO Onstage, phantom-media.info - accessed 10 May 2009
  11. ^ a b Perry, George. "The Complete Phantom of the Opera". Owl Books, 1991, ISBN 0-8050-1722-4. 
  12. ^ http://www.reallyuseful.com/shows/the-phantom-of-the-opera/about-the-show/the-phantom-of-the-opera-a-synopsis
  13. ^ http://www.phantomlasvegas.com/index.php?page=/the_show_musical_numbers.php
  14. ^ Smith, Alistair (9 April 2008). "Elton joins Lloyd Webber for Phantom sequel". The Stage. http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/20348/elton-joins-lloyd-webber-for-phantom-sequel. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  15. ^ Kay, Richard (30 May 2007). "Why Andrew is in need of a copycat". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/columnists/columnists.html?in_article_id=458827&in_page_id=1772&in_author_id=230. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  16. ^ a b "Official website of the Hungarian production". Theater Madách. http://www.azoperahazfantomja.hu/. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  17. ^ "Australian Broadcasting Corporation The world Today". http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2008/s2380411.htm. 
  18. ^ "Official website of the German production". http://www.musicalland.de/pdo/index.php. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  19. ^ Yong, Yvonne (3 October 2006). "Phantom of the Opera set to return to Singapore". Channel NewsAsia. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/233761/1/.html. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  20. ^ The Phantom of the Opera (2004) at the Internet Movie Database, accessed 31 January 2008
  21. ^ "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular official site". Really Useful Group/Mackintosh Ltd.. http://www.phantomlasvegas.com/. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  22. ^ McKenzie, Kristine (3 October 2006). "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular show review — Beloved show lives up to new name". LasVegas.com.. http://shop.lasvegas.com/shows/showtimes2.jsp?show=883&lang=en&src=tix&display=. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  23. ^ "Las Vegas Spectacular Performance Schedule". http://www.phantomlasvegas.com/PerfSchedule.htm. 
  24. ^ "Casting Announced for Vegas Phantom, Barrett and Civello Play Title Role". http://broadwayworld.com/article/Casting_Announced_for_Vegas_Phantom_Barrett_and_Crivello_Play_Title_Role_20060329. 

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