EVENTS/REVIEW: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. An Overall Musical Play Review & Media Call Photos.





For your reading please: This is my personal review of the play and a few titbits of info from the media call for The Phantom of The Opera; therefore expect this post to be long and I do hope you enjoy the photos I personally took and edited. This is my own attack on The Phantom of the Opera still shots: gothic, dark-hued, mysterious. 






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“But do you love me? If Erik were good-looking, would you love me, Christine?” 
― Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera




The Phantom of the Opera is undoubtedly one of the most successful works and stage productions of all time. With its phenomenal popularity, it never fails to reap the audiences’ gargantuan admiration. I sometimes wonder if there was once a time that they had any difficulty selling tickets. The Phantom of the Opera is still a mystery, never ever fully explained yet it continues to make its audience gasp with anticipation and thrill. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s brilliant weaving of a complex tale is like a potent potion; tough to beat. What makes it such a hit all this time then?  





Just like a scrumptious buffet, The Phantom of the Opera is lavishly executed; from its vivid costumes to the striking cast– it’s just made to perfection.  One would get chills without the blood-scare but with more of the inner ghost of mediocrity that use to haunt a mysterious and dark individual; moral lesson? One need not be physically disfigured to be able to relate to The Phantom. When it comes to love, it’s having to risk oneself to the conjuring agony and  pain. The Phantom of the Opera, an overall profound and poignant love story; for The Phantom and Christine? It’s just a love…..a love not meant to be.






If you find yourself  unfamiliar with the storyline of The Phantom of the Opera, let me put it in a simpler way. The musical genius Phantom (also known as the Opera Ghost or OG) falls in love with young soprano, Christine Daaé . Sounds cheese-tastic but conflict occurs as The Phantom was born facially disfigured; decided to mask himself and has chosen to live in the dark since then. He was a total outcast but appeared to Christine Daaé as an Angel of Music. Christine was made to think that her voice tutor (The Phantom so to speak) was the spirit of her deceased father. The Phantom molded Christine’s extraordinary singing talent and paved the way for Daaé   to fulfill her dreams of being an Opera star. But this has also made the way for Christine to find her childhood friend, Raoul de Chagny (patron of the Opera House).








As Christine and Raoul falls in love with each other, it wreaked havoc above everything else (cue the organ music please…) The Phantom wanted his own revenge while Raoul continues to fight for his love. The story evolved with the fury of hate and horror that in the end transcended into love. How? By setting your loved one free. So in this day and age, The Phantom of the Opera is now being challenged. Does this kind of storyline still works? Absolutely. The Phantom of the Opera is a classic; and a classic tale never dies.







Christine Daaé is being portrayed by the beautiful Claire Lyon. She looked so fragile on stage, yet she delivers the goods.  Her opalescent skin and pristine polished voice makes her stage presence visibly distinct.  Having to watch the musical for the second time around, I find the Phantom much more deeply involved with his character. Emotions are more intensified, like slashing the audiences’ heart with every note of his aching yet enchanting voice.  As the music of The Phantom of The Opera swirls inside my mind, how else would The Phantom attack his character? Where else does he get that soulful passion that fuels his pain as the ill-fated Phantom?







Brad Little (The Phantom of the Opera) being  a veteran actor has done this for almost more than 2,200 times in Broadway, Asia and in a US Tour. Little is also known to have great acting skills. When asked what has his favourite scene in the musical he answered:

“The very last scene. I always feel that it’s the first time I’m acting on it. I have to have a different approach to it every night I perform”. 





And true enough, the riveting depth in his acting was apparent, full of intensity and complex in every scene. Brad Little being a venerated hero and a loathsome villain , he has vividly performed  the right fit of emotions; a character that is in full portrayal. I admire Brad Little’s capacity to throw the competition (with regards to who is the best phantom) out of the water; proving that each Phantom has something different to offer to the part. The Phantom of the Opera’s romantic tie to Christine is one of the highlights of the play. All he ever needed was to be loved to be good.  How an unrequited love, deep and desperate would change the whole story is what it makes it a worth watch. If you’d ask me, the last few scenes were always a straight bullet shot to the heart, if you’re a certified PHAN you might be able to relate here. When The Phantom was struggling and Christine was trying to appease him, telling him that the actual deformity does not lie on his disfigured face but in his barren soul. When he was left alone and has transformed into nothingness, there I realized how The Phantom of The Opera has made an indelible impression on every audience’s mind.





♩ ♬ Masquerade/Paper faces on parade/Masquerade/ Hide your face, so the world will never find you ♩ ♬ 






The entire musical play is gorgeous, well-performed by an awesome cast; one would really find it hard not to swoon over The Phantom himself. If you can see beyond that mask, good for you.  I particularly like the way The Phantom prowls on stage, eerie yet charming. He owns the stage, after all he is The Phantom. Seeing the actual Phantom of the Opera in full flesh and I was floored. When he was unmasked / sans prosthetics (and during the media call interview) I was still in awe.  Splendid voice and a tasty personality, Brad Little has that enormous stage presence. The Phantom’s rival for Christine’s affection, Raoul (Anthony Downing) proves that there is something more beyond that pretty face.  I really did not see him relying too much on that knight in shining armour character (which is good in my opinion).   I like the way he act with extreme petulance whenever Christine brings up The Phantom. 

♩ ♬ Prima donna, enchant us once again!
Prima donna,first lady of the stage!
Your devotees are on their knees to implore you!♩ ♬ 











The swirling and chanting costumes will drown you away, same with the magnificent voices from each member of the cast. The Music of the Night is still as seductive as it is; love and obsession makes the music flow extravagantly. Raoul’s rendition of All I ask of You is sensitively well acted and sang upon; audience was in melancholy whenever this is being played by the orchestra. The set is as stunning as the costumes; the backdrops are intricately detailed giving that illusion with depth and clarity in every scene.  Everything is just lush, even the music is stellar to begin with. Just a like a decently made Martini, when all of these are swallowed…ahh… just pure no nonsense, nostalgic experience. Even that chandelier scene has always been highly anticipated; if you are a non-aficionado of the musical theater be sure to watch out for the chandelier to end all chandeliers. It’s so aesthetically rich that it may convert you be a Phantom of the Opera lover in the end. The play runs long but fret not, pacing is rapid. 








Do I have a favourite scene or act?   The seducing scene of The Music of the Night, wherein The Phantom lures Christine down to his lair beneath the Opera House. In All your Fantasies is romantically spine-chilling; then followed by The Phantom putting Christine into some kind of trance while serenading her with The Music of The Night. If you’d take a closer look at The Phantom (Brad Little), just the way he “handle” Christine…such a dark-hued yet sweet embrace. Brad Little’s style of letting his hands have a mind of its own, fantastic.  It draws a certain kind of magic.  John Owen-Jones and Ramin Karimloo are both Phantoms whom I dream to watch and perform next! I have only been watching them online and they are impeccable.


The Phantom:♩ ♬  Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendour.
Grasp it, sense it - tremulous and tender.
Turn your face away from the garish light of day,
turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light

- and listen to the music of the night!
♩ ♬ 












The Phantom of the Opera knows how to get off on the right foot; it may have run over a thousand and one times but it still gives its audience a fresh attack, a heart-stopping adventure. A flawless transfer of love and music, that is what The Phantom of the Opera is still known for. In any way you dice it, the play is magnificent. It’s flowing with that dauntless spell of romanticism that won’t let a single soul wander while watching it. If this is your first time to watch The Phantom of The Opera, be prepared to be swept away.





The musical was originally supposed to end on 25th August , however to due to overwhelming response it was extended until 1st of Sept. 2013. I believe there were 8 more shows added; so this is indeed great news! You see I am still over the moon as I’ve just recently watched and even made friends with the amazing cast of The Addams Family; and then after a few days, I found myself seated at the Grand Theater of the Marina Bay Sands; awaiting the presence of The Phantom of The Opera.
Thank you for trusting me to witness all your incredible shows! 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
MasterCard Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands
July 16 to 1st Sept. 2013 / Tues-Fri 8pm; Sat & Sun 2pm/8pm
Admission: $55 to $250 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

 Thanks for looking.




 

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