Although COVID has cruelly forced theaters to close, The Phantom Of The Opera is back in the West End to celebrate its 35th anniversary. The Phantom of the Opera is full of the shock of twisted romance, the thrill of booming organs sending chills of awe and the breath of the chandelier rising. For theater-goers and “The Phantom” regulars alike, this revival brings new life to the show – for a new generation – and will inspire adoration for this iconic musical and its new depth to the characters.
Adapted from the original novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera features a mysterious and dangerous love triangle between Christine Daae and her music teacher, her Angel of Music, the Phantom of the Opera, who haunts the theater. However, when Raoul Vicomte de Chagny and Christine fall in love, the Phantom will stop at nothing to ensure that his protégé will sing only for him, which leads to many “accidents”, especially when the managers interfere with his management of the theater. .
“Maybe we could scare off the ghost of so many years ago with a little light!” »- the auctioneer, The Phantom of the Opera
I was on the edge of my seat waiting for those words – the signal for the Opening and the first glance of the new chandelier for the 35th anniversary production. The huge flash of the opening made my heart beat faster as the orchestra led this dramatic and emotional musical crescendo with the chandelier rising and the theater turning to gold, as you are transported to the Paris of years. 1880. New chandelier looks breathtaking, dazzling crystals with a new modern flare – it looks taller, taller, a centerpiece at the top of the theater, to me, surpassing the original 1986 chandelier that contained itself more than 6000 pearls. What surprised me were the electric lights of the chandelier that crash and sparkle to the rhythm of the explosions of touches of the music that create this dazzling grandeur.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the genius behind the “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. Many critics have criticized the downsized orchestral music as being flat (compared to how powerful it was before) and if I thought the music was haunting now I can only imagine the sound of it. full orchestra. However, the Simon Lee Orchestra has done their best to try and keep the breathtaking music of ‘Phantom’ with such a limited number and Mick Potter and his sound team continue to create the haunting atmosphere and the weird mistake of direction of the Phantom.
The humor of the Phantom of the Opera has always been present in this gothic romance but here that once again subtle and hidden element has been reworked into audible laughter, mainly thanks to the efforts of the brilliant director Seth Skylar-Heyn and the equally talented ensemble. Each of the characters in the set felt really alive; whose new characterization and comedy might even take you away from the main action to present their own intricate and intricate stories; interwoven with the narration of their individual costumes.
What attracts everyone to come and watch this revival of this iconic story are the talented actors who all shine, equal and superior, to some of the best actors who have performed the roles.
I had the inspiring opportunity to interview Elle Young who currently plays Meg Giry, she plays in the ballet choir and is the closest friend of Christine Daae, in The Phantom of the Opera 35th anniversary. She explained that she loved music and the show was different every day. She enjoys working with her colleagues from whom she has learned so much. She has such a sweet and beautiful soprano voice, so sweet and magical that she easily flies off into the best rendition of complicated “Notes” I have ever heard. She is also such a talented and graceful ballet dancer. I loved his adaptation of Meg Giry bringing innocence and youth; going from that curious mouse to venturing to the ghost’s lair.
Carlotta is the “Prima Donna” of the Phantom of the Opera. The young energy and hilarious facial expressions brought by Saori Oda created such nerve in Carlotta with the perfect pretentious demeanor the role desperately needed to make audiences fall in love with this brilliant diva. Created from her ingenious addition of her perfectly articulated overexaggerated roll of “Rs” during the powerful opera notes that she projects effortlessly.
Rhys Whitfield is indeed Prefect Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny. In “All I Ask Of You” he is gentle and playful with Christine while having that protective and romantic presence that contrasts perfectly with the obsessive and seductive protection of the Phantom. In the modified choreography, the emphasis is on Raoul actually comforting Christine after she cries, he is compassionate and trusts her even when he is suspicious of her story. Rhys projects that childhood romance, that romantic chemistry, that makes audiences instantly fall in love with him. This brilliant emotional love for Christine is associated with Rhys’ inspiring voice in “Wandering Child” where he could proudly hold his own vocal power and passion in the vocal trio.
Lucy St Louis brought new life and redefined the character of Christine, instantly setting her apart among the cast. After interviewing Lucy, she passed on to me feminism and the path she wanted to develop in Christine.
In “Past The Point Of No Return” the choreography of the stage changed to see Christine taking matters into her own hands and opposing the ghost to decide her fate rather than hers, developing from her innocence in ” Angel of Music ”and his adorable laugh in“ All I Ask Of You ”for the childhood romance with Raoul. In the final scene, she finally confronts the ghost for his horrific manipulation of her and her voice, only to show true compassion for the ghost as he lets her go.
Not only that, Lucy St Louis has such a unique skill for her enchantingly beautiful and extremely emotional voice, where her smooth, gentle voice effortlessly slides into that sudden power of a passionate and controlled belt with her elegant sustained vibrato and her clear voice that hypnotizes. Her final theme note was so clear and sweet that it was the angel the Phantom hears. Lucy is also one of the few Christine to join the ‘en pointe’ ballet dancers, another of her incredible dedication and talent for the role of Christine.
Killian Donnelly is the 35th birthday ghost and he was incredibly astounding. His ghost knows his power and control over Christine how to manipulate her with his alluring presence in the “Music Of Night”. Killian’s ghost stands erect and walks in control. He comes in with his incredible controlled voice with the strong sustained vibrato seamless to the sweet and sudden opera notes of “Soar”. In the final lair, I especially admired the detail of him tapping on his throne and the phrase “You try my patience” which further emphasizes his control over his theater. Then, in his lair, the Phantom is desperate, vulnerable to the previous power he had, which elicits greater sympathy for the Phantom of Killian Donnelly.
The actors alone are enough to explain why everyone has to come and revel in this twisted romance reimagined with the haunting, dramatic and romantic grandeur and soul of The 35th anniversary music, acting and design. Phantom Of The Opera. Let the opera begin! Let The Phantom Of The Opera enchant for another 35 years!