Thursday, May 30, 2019

Welcome to the Opera House

Welcome to the Opera House

The blog you've just landed upon has been in existence since 2008. It started as a place to "dump" my thoughts about the story and grew into a monstrosity of over 150 posts. For more information about the history of this blog, visit the tab above "About the Blog."

The entire main blog that deals with the characters, emotions, symbols, and other aspects of the story and now is in book form for purchase worldwide, as well as eBook format.

This blog is not a literary review of Gaston Leroux! Thoughts are taken from all versions - Leroux, Webber's stage version, and the Webber/Schumacher movie. It merely focuses upon the story and and life lessons hidden throughout.
I've also taken the time to dissect the characters in Love Never Dies.

The blog shows no partiality to any versions of Phantom, because the author realizes that there are many fans worldwide who relate to the story on various levels. I'm a fan like you and an amateur with a Phantom love. 

You can find all posts with drop-down menus below to help you navigate through the various subject matter.   

Hope you enjoy the lair! Come back, purchase the book, listen to our Podcasts, and feel free to leave comments.  Posts are far and few between now, but we hope you enjoy the content anyway.

I remain your obedient servant,
The Phantom's Student

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Phantom of the Opera North America Tour (Review)


Today I saw the North American tour of The Phantom of the Opera at Keller Auditorium.  As most of you know, I am a diehard Phantom fan having seen the production numerous times in Portland, London, and Vegas (on that note, let us take a moment of silence about the closing of the Vegas production).

This review will only focus on obvious changes to the story.  I have decided, however, not to comment on the cast or their ability to act and sing. Those judgements can be made by you.

What I witnessed today is the same music, new setting and costumes, and revised flavor of the entire production.  How do I feel?  Well how about, "Twisted every way, what answer can I give?"

If you have not seen it yet, be forewarned that what I'm about to write are spoilers.  Perhaps you'll thank me that I have lessened the shock factor for you beforehand. I will admit that the major changes to the sets add an overall improvement -- for the most part. The candelabras coming up from the floor are no more, but the dry ice continues to crawl across the stage floor as the Phantom's boat glides for a very short distance. 

However, it's the changes to the choreographing that strips away the old and leaves a rather dull and lifeless taste for me in this new version.  Perhaps I could blame it on my mood, or the sinus headache I nursed from Box 4 due to the high humidity.  All I know, is that the beloved emotions and tears I usually shed during the stage play were non-existent.  My eyes did not water, and my emotions remained for the most part unmoved, except for my occasional jaw-dropping episodes of shock.

What are the differences?  Well, here are a few quick highlights on what to expect.

1.  The most beloved of numbers, The Music of the Night, is very different from the original.  Cast away your memories of the Phantom putting his arm around Christine and swaying her back and forth in sweet intoxication.  Forget former scenes of them coming close as if they are about to kiss and swiftly pulling away. Their physical interaction and sensual attraction has vastly change, with a new act of the Phantom blindfolding Christine. At the end of the song, the mannequin bride that causes Christine to faint in his arms has disappeared. She is wide awake as he picks her up and walks her to his bed, lays her down, and finishes the song. Why she peacefully falls asleep, I'm not quite sure.

2.  Christine awakens but does not remove the Phantom's mask to see who is behind it.  Instead, he is off by himself, removes the mask, and picks up a handkerchief to dab his face. Hum, where did they get that idea? ("Taking his handkerchief from his pocket, he took the folded white linen and pressed it against his right cheek..." Quote from The Phantom of Valletta). When Christine awakens she sees his deformity. The Phantom rants as before, but no longer with the tearful emotion crawling on the floor. Not sure why he still calls her a "viper" and "this is what you wanted to see" when she wasn't responsible for stripping away the mask in the first place. 

3.  Masquerade - New costumes, improved set.  If you enjoyed the former quirky costumes in the older version, they have been replaced.  Raoul and Christine look basically the same, but Christine's dress is not as spectacular.  Also, be prepared to see the Phantom arrive in a totally different outfit.  He is dressed similar to the 2004 Movie outfit that Gerard Butler wore. The new set, however, is eye-catching and mesmerizing with mirrors.

4.  "Wandering Child" takes on a new direction when Christine finishes her song. The Phantom and Raoul actually get into a physical altercation, i.e. pushing, shoving, falling, fists flying, etc. The Phantom continues to throw his fireballs (even more impressive) as Raoul moves about the stage. Kiss goodbye the Phantom's fedora.

5.  The final lair scene is odd.  It opens with the Phantom finishing to dress Christine in the wedding dress. Without the bride in MOTN, those who watch it for the first time will be scratching their heads as to what is going on.  He is physically cruel to Christine when Raoul arrives on the scene. He puts her in a hold that looks as if he would snap her neck, then releases her and keeps her captive by grabbing her by the throat, and eventually throws her on the bed and pins her there while he's singing his demands. I found these changes bothersome.

6.  By the time the kiss comes, the "pitiful creature of darkness" has acted as a very dark character indeed.  It leaves little hope that Christine's kiss will redeem him in any fashion, and there is little reluctance or sadness on her departure from the lair with Raoul. Afterward, he is left crying over scattered musical sheets on the stage floor rather than the left-behind bridal veil that symbolizes love lost.

7.  His disappearance from the chair is no more, but alas he does disappear into thin air and Meg still holds the mask up as the curtain goes down.

There are other changes that I have not touched upon and will leave for my readers to discover on their own.  You will note that the Phantom does have more presence as he sneaks about in the background in various scenes.

The Lost Message?
For some fans these changes will be unsettling while for others no big deal.  The audience at Keller Auditorium cheered, whistled, and clapped their approval during the bows, so for the newer generations or those who have never seen the play, it is apparently well received.

What did I like about it? The improved sets in spite of the missing rising candelabras and extended boat scene. 

What I didn't like about it? The changes to iconic scenes that dismiss the intrigue that Christine feels for the Phantom and his yearning in return to have her as his own.  His bid to seduce her into his world (as the dictionary would say, "to win over, attract, or lure") is gone and replaced by the darker treatment and lack of attraction between the characters.

As Phantom Vegas once advertised their show, "Be Seduced," I am sad to say that the North American Tour did not seduce me at all.

Vicki

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Love Never Dies to Tour United States 2017-18

Yes, you read the title right.  Fresh from Broadway.com today. 

"The sequel to the longest-running show on the Great White Way will finally land in the U.S.!" 

Read the news HERE.

Read more news HERE.

This is going to stir the sleeping bees nest. I remain silent, neutral, non-committal.  

I've already seen it four times in London (both the original and revised version, but not the final revised that was released in Australia on stage - only on DVD).  The picture at the left was taken by me outside the Adelphi Theatre.

The most memorable moment?  Ramin Karimloo's arm around my waist getting my picture taken with him at the stage door.  

The remainder is too controversial to get caught up in that argument again.  I refuse to get drawn into the ruckus.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Facebook Phantom Group

If you are on Facebook, take a moment to check out the "All Things Phantom - Blog Talk Radio" group (Group Page Link on Facebook).  We have quite a few Phantom followers and fans of the show who love to post pictures and talk Phantom. (Show Link)

This is our new header for the page. We accept all things Phantom-related from the original book by Gaston Leroux, to the stage play by Webber, alternate versions of the story, the movies, and the sequel.  Check us out and join the group!  You are welcome.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

North American Tour - The Phantom of the Opera

Well, I purchased my ticket to see The Phantom of the Opera at Keller Auditorium for next week.  Box 4, seat 5, row 1.  After the show, I will come back and write my review.

Visit their stunning website at the link below and see if the North American Tour is coming near you.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Welcome to the Blog

Since the U.S. Tour of Phantom of the Opera began on April 1, 2015, this blog has seen a huge resurgence of visitors.  I'm assuming it's because fans are taking time to do Internet searches about various aspects of the story.

The blog you've just landed upon has been in existence since 2008. It started as a place to dump my thoughts about the story and grew into a monstrosity of over 150 posts to date. It's written from a fan's point of view.  I officially stopped posting in 2011.

The entire main blog deals with the characters, emotions, symbols, and other aspects of the story from Leroux to Webber. It was transferred to paperback form for purchase worldwide at the nagging of my readers. It's no longer available in eBook due to licensing that I have with the Hall Leonard Company who licenses the lyrics to the songs, which I have quoted in the text.

PLEASE NOTE:  This blog was never meant to be a literary review of Gaston Leroux! It merely focuses upon the story and and life lessons hidden throughout. I've used all versions to talk about Phantom and have also taken the time to dissect the characters in Love Never Dies. 

You can find all posts with drop-down menus at the sidebar to help you navigate through the various subject matter. 

Hope you enjoy the lair! 

If you wish to know more about who I am behind the mask, you can find information at http://vickihopkins.com

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera

Pretty impressive!  Helping to spread the word.  Visit their official website at Phantom of the Opera Animated. 

Unfortunately, they were unable to raise funding for the movie.  I hope they find an investor to continue.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review and Cartoon

www.amazon.com/Phantom-Valletta-Vicki-Hopkins-ebook/dp/B004QTOI0Y A hearty thank you to Stephanie Piro, the cartoonist and author of The Militant Recommender blog, who recently reviewed the Phantom of Valletta

Click Here for Review

If you haven't read my Phantom continuation, the cartoon below may make no sense at all.  So here is an excerpt that goes along with it.  Stephanie's cartoon is a bit humorous to me, because it pretty well captures Erik's thoughts about this strange girl.  And, of course, she's a bit surprised to meet the masked man face to face in his opera house.



EXCERPT

Everything appeared to be tidy and in its place, as he surveyed the seats and boxes. The chandelier hung dark, but a few gaslights near the stage burned, adding enough illumination in the theatre. As he strolled toward the front, he spotted a lingering light in the orchestra pit that caught his attention. Erik heard shuffling noises and movement and quickly halted his step. He listened intently, trying to ascertain if one of the musicians had perhaps lingered behind for some odd reason. Cautious and not wishing discovery, he stood motionless, waiting to hear further sounds before proceeding closer.

Suddenly, a recognizable pluck of a violin string met his ear, randomly flicked by a human’s finger. The plucks continued, with no semblance of tune, accompanied by the soft giggle of a female voice. Irate that someone dared to toy with an instrument meant for sounds of perfection, he angrily strode forward until he peered over the edge of the pit. There before him, with her back to his burning gaze, stood a petite golden-haired young woman fingering the instrument as if it were a mere plaything. Twang, twang. The sounds reverberated again, and another giggle ensued. His unbridled displeasure over her actions caused him to fling his words at her without a second thought.

“What in the hell do you think you’re doing?” he snarled, sounding like an angry bear about to claw its victim. He boldly stepped into full vision, daring to show his masked face to the intruder to make a point. “The violin is not yours, Mademoiselle, and I insist you cease from handling the instrument with such disrespect this instant!”



Thursday, January 3, 2013

News Regarding Book Version

Lessons From the Phantom of the Opera contains lyrics from the stage play as written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the lyricists.  In order to print those lyrics in the book, I had to pay a licensing fee to The Really Useful Group.  The cost was pretty hefty, but I thought it would be nice to include them.  Those lyrics are not, of course, here on the website.

When you license music like this, rights are usually given by how many prints will contain it.  I paid a price for a certain number of books, which I have now reached in sales.  In order to keep selling the book in print and eBook, I'd have to pay another license fee for additional copies.  I'm not willing to do that.

Therefore, I have pulled the print and eBook versions of Lessons From the Phantom of the Opera.  They should all be down within the next few weeks, however, you may see residual copies floating around here and there.

I do plan to re-release it with the stripped lyrics, but it won't be for quite a few months.  In the meantime, I apologize for not making this book available, but it's a matter of cost that I'd rather put into advertising my current list of books in the historical romance and contemporary romance genre that I have recently released.  

If you'd like to see what I am up to these days beyond Phantom, visit my site by CLICKING HERE.

I will let you know when the book is released and available for sale once again.  Thanks for your understanding.

Sincerely,
Vicki Hopkins

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blowing Out the Candle

I've done some deep soul searching over this blog and other matters in the past month. Usually, when your soul prompts you to search inwardly, there's a discovery or change at the end of that endeavor.

I have, after much reflection, decided to end my blogging on Lessons From the Phantom of the Opera entirely. After nearly four years and 155 posts, I've done my bit in the lair and expressed my joys from center stage to the depths of the lake under the opera house. I've dissected, offered my two cents, received so many emails thanking me for my thoughts that I cannot count them all; but I will cherish every one. That, in itself, has given me great satisfaction. I've also had my share of critics, who found it necessary to slap my hand for having an opinion regarding Love Never Dies. Whatever . . .

This blog continues to receive hits worldwide, and the blog in print form continues to sell worldwide. I will not pull the blog from the Internet or the printed book. However, there will be no further posts about Phantom after this date.

My life's direction is turning elsewhere, as well as my interests and my career goals. When that happens, there are times your greatest interests must be put aside in order to pursue where your heart leads you next. I will never stop loving The Phantom of the Opera or the story it tells. It's been a huge part of my life, and I am very grateful for the experience. As far as further Phantom publications, I have people emailing me for a sequel to The Phantom of Valletta. I hadn't planned on one, but you never know what an author has up their sleeve. It may be "garbage" to some, but to others it was an enjoyable read, especially to my very kind friends on the island of Malta who embraced the story wholeheartedly. They are very gracious and generous fans. As far as the book itself, there may be some shocking surprises in the future.

For Phantom news, thoughts, and opinions, I encourage you to reach out to others in the community who are more than able to feed your need. If I have news about my publications, I'll update this site, but as far as blogging, I'm blowing out the candle. Thanks to everyone who supported me during this journey.

If you wish to follow my endeavors elsewhere, feel free to visit my official author website at http://vickihopkins.com and sign up to follow my progress on numerous other blogs and books.


Sincerely,
Vicki Hopkins aka The Phantom's Student


Monday, October 3, 2011

It's a Celebration - Not a Condemnation

Yesterday at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, I arrived at the Lloyd Center Regal Cinemas to take my seat for the 25th anniversary celebration. Thankfully, I bumped into Bonnie Anne Hudson Pinard aka Paisley Swan Stewart, the author of Chanson de l'Ange. Bonnie and I sat next to each other, along with a friend she brought, and my son and his friend on the other side of me. If it were not for Bonnie carrying an abundant amount of tissues in her purse, I would have been wiping my nose upon my sleeve or running to the ladies room to steal some toilet paper. How could I leave without tissues? Duh!

Whenever I see Phantom, I cry. Some shows I cry more than others, based upon the performance of the Phantom. Others have moved me to tears, but Ramin Karminloo moved me to uncontrolled weeping. Bonnie and I kept grabbing each other during various scenes, because they were so powerful.

I'm sure others have different opinions about the production, and I've read some already (not that the Phantom community ever complains or anything); but I can only reiterate yesterday was a celebration. I encourage the community not to turn it into a condemnation.

Those who were privileged to be in London and see the show live were surely blessed. The energy in the Albert Hall had to be electrifying. However, seeing it on the big screen in a theater was nothing less than mind blowing. The cinematography was fantastic! I thought we'd just be plugged into one camera during performance showing the stage as a whole, as if we were some person plunked in a seat in the auditorium with a cheap ticket. On the contrary, we were given a visual feast of various angles, closeups, and actually saw tears rolling down the faces of Ramin and Sierra.

As far as the staging and sets, it was somewhat different no doubt due to the change in venue. Some of the familiar items such as the dressing room were missing, the elephant for Piangi, and a few other nuances. No doubt that had much to do with the setting of the production, but frankly it did not deter the enjoyment of the show for me. The visuals were wonderful too on the big screen as far as the backdrops that showed such great views like the Phantom penning his notes.

The costumes were to die for! Have you ever been close enough to see the lines of the feathers in the Phantom's fedora or the bead work on his cape? How about Christine's wedding dress and all the intricate detail the eye can behold? The colorful costumes were breathtaking, and a fitting recognition was given to the designer, who passed away some years ago - Maria Bjornson.

The performances, as far as I'm concerned, were nothing close to mediocre. There were frankly brilliant in every possible way. Each Phantom, of course, brings their own interpretation of the role, and each fan has their preferences. However, after looking into Ramin Karimloo's eyes during some of the close-up scenes, I can honestly say the man embodied the Phantom perfectly. This was my first time seeing Karimloo play the original role. I have an extremely high regard for Ramin as a man of character, too, which was clearly demonstrated at the end of the show when he bowed to Crawford and held his hand to show him the respect he deserved.

As far as his overall portrayal and vocals, they were sublime. Frankly, I was a tad worried having heard reports that his voice wasn't up to par on the first performance, and he even tweeted he was aware of the problem. However, Sunday's performance he was at the top of his game. Ramin's portrayal moved me to tears. His hurt, longing, anger, and brokenness were palpable. He just didn't play a role; he became the character. If I could bow to him and kiss his hand, frankly I would. Well done indeed.

What can you say about Sierra Boggess? She is Christine Daae. Her performance was touching, conflicted, and filled with yearning -- frankly, I don't have enough words to express the depth of her portrayal or her wonderful vocals on stage. Her and Ramin were meant to play the part together. Their chemistry had already been forged in their roles in Love Never Dies, and that chemistry was brought to the 25th Anniversary celebration. Great casting choice, though some may disagree in my assessment and the reasons behind those choices.

I had never heard of Hadley Fraser until the 25th Anniversary cast was announced. Wonderful choice for Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny. He played it with just a tad bit of aristocratic arrogance, which was quite appropriate since he was a patron of the opera house, rich beyond belief, titled, and handsome to boot. I thought his endearment toward Christine quite touching, and his hatred toward his rival quite convincing. His vocals were superb.

As far as the remaining cast who played Meg, Madame Giry, Carlotta, Piangi, and the managers, they are all to be congratulated for their fantastic performances. They all deserve five star ratings, as well as the ensemble and chorus. Loved them all!

The onstage reprisals and celebration after the performance were fantastic. I get such joy seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber. (#1 bucket list for me - meet the guy personally). To top it off, we saw and heard Sarah Brightman, Anthony Warlow (former AU production), John Owen Jones (current Phantom in London), Colm Wilkinson (former Phantom Toronto), and Peter Joback (new Phantom for London effective March 2012). Michael Crawford came out on stage and the audience, of course, gave him the accolades due for being in the original cast. It was a very moving ending indeed.

Yes, it was a celebration of the 25th anniversary. Of course, other reviews contrary to my own are popping up making it more of a condemnation instead. And, yes, you are entitled to your opinions. I can only add that the joy of Phantom is a universal gift that has been bestowed upon us by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the many others responsible for the creation of this wonderful production. As for me, I will not and cannot condemn and nitpick to death the beauty of yesterday's production. Why? Because it's not about me, folks, nor shockingly is it about you. It's about the continued existence of this wonderful show and story and the success of 25 years rolled into a program of celebration.

In conclusion, all I can say is that it will be forever etched in my mind as a fantastic presentation of the story I so dearly love. I hope to own it on DVD one day and play it until I have to buy another copy because I've worn it out.

If you haven't had the opportunity to see it yet, it's replaying encore performances at selected theaters this week. CLICK HERE for information and tickets. Go! Go and enjoy it and glory in the celebration of The Phantom of the Opera.

The Phantom's Student aka Vicki

P.S. Read a great article of accolades BROADWAY WORLD

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Lair - Phantom 25 Years Later

As October 2, 2011 nears to the 25th anniversary celebration of The Phantom of the Opera, a lot has been stirring in my opinionated soul. Usually, when I post an opinion, I pay for it in many ways.

The lair, in case you didn't know, isn't exactly the safest place to be these days as a fan of The Phantom of the Opera. After being hounded down by a few - met with hatred by a few, just because I saw, liked, and supported Love Never Dies, I've often considered throwing the towel into the lake under the opera house and never returning.

I've been defriended on social mediums, blocked, forum crucified, tweeted as a moron who writes garbage, and reviewed on Amazon as an "amateur" who knows nothing. Ah, the love of the lair! Where else in the entertainment community can you find such -- such unconditional love and acceptance? Maybe during the final lair scene on stage, but most definitely not in the Phantom community.

Now that I got that out of my soul, let's proceed to the 25th Anniversary celebration. I had posted an article sometime ago about Phantom forums, where I occasionally read, lurk, and foolishly contribute my opinion. There's been a ton of chatter in the lair recently regarding the 25th anniversary concert of The Phantom of the Opera to be held at the Royal Albert Hall.

The full cast has been announced. You can read all about it on BroadwayWorld.com. CLICK HERE As the old saying goes, "You can please some of the people some of the time . . . but you can never please all of the people all of the time." So is the same with casting of the 25th anniversary celebration.

Frankly, I think some of the disgruntled rumblings around the lair come from the casting of Ramin Karminloo and Sierra Boggess, who stared in Love Never Dies in London. I can only surmise Ramin and Sierra are somehow marked for life for participating in LND, and therefore are not worthy to perform in the iconic celebration of 25 years.

A lot of fans had their own favorites, of course, they would have cast in the roles--that I can understand. However, casting isn't always easy. People have other commitments. Younger choices have been made rather than older seasoned performers. It is what it is. The power to choose was not given to you as a fan. And if you did have the power, you'd be in the same gondola - you'd please yourself, but alienate others.

However, Sierra and Ramin are no strangers to the roles. Ramin, of course, played Phantom at Her Majesty's Theatre, and Sierra played Christine in the Las Vegas production. Both were highly acclaimed in their performances, and I am sure will do the 25th anniversary justice, even if they're not your favorites.

The complaints go on and on, and I don't wish to rehash the unhappy ramblings of people's opinions on the remaining cast choices. However, I'll put my two cents into the ring before I take my Fandango ticket to Lloyd Center Theaters in Portland, Oregon to see the show at 11:00 a.m., on October 2nd. When I sit down in that theater seat, no doubt with popcorn in hand and friends sprinkled throughout the seats next to me, I'll first bemoan I'm not there in London. You guys that get to see this live are so lucky! Enjoy!

Then, as the lights dim, and the show starts, Ramin and Sierra will not be my focus, nor any of the other actors/actresses dressed in the stunning costumes. Instead, I will be looking at the Phantom, Christine, Raoul, Meg, Madame Giry, Carlotta, Piangi, the Managers, and the other wonderful extras who make up this fantastic show. I'm going to get lost in the scenery. I'm going to be enthralled when I hear The Music of the Night, and swoon in the lovely rooftop scene of All I Ask of You. Then, I'll no doubt shed my usual tear in the final lair scene when I hear the Phantom sing, "It's over now, the music of the night." (Even though it really isn't over.)

When it's all said and done, I'm going to jump to my feet and yell bravo and clap enthusiastically as the cast takes their bows and we celebrate worldwide 25 years of a wonderful show. I don't care who makes money off this production. I don't care who stars on stage. I don't care if you're one of the disgruntled fans in the lair who complain about everything. All I care about, is enjoying the show and loving the story.

I encourage you to do the same. Put aside your prejudices for a day and join in the worldwide celebration of The Phantom of the Opera wholeheartedly. That's what October 2, 2011 is all about. It's about the story you love and defend.

Oh, and Andrew - THANKS! Thanks for everything you've given us in the old and the new. My respect for you as a composer will never end.

Just in case you miss it live in London or miss it at the theater, head on over to the official website and preorder the CD/DVD. CLICK HERE

And that's my rambling opinion for the day!

The Phantom's Student aka Vicki




Monday, August 29, 2011

What Makes a Great On-Stage Phantom?

Wow, that question just popped into my head, as I look forward to having Peter Karrie on All Things Phantom on September 10, 2011 @ 12 Noon, PST. His performances have earned him the title of “The World’s Most Popular Phantom” on two separate occasions, and we're very excited to talk with him about his portrayal of the role.

However, the question remains open to you, my readers. What makes a great on-stage Phantom in your opinion? We can think of many greats from the past who have played the role from Michael Crawford to John Owen Jones, currently in the production at Her Majesty's Theatre.

As I've wandered the Internet and various forums, you often see posts from individuals who talk about their favorites. Each person seems to have their own idea of what makes a great Phantom and why that individual's performance touched them above others.

Of course, none of us have probably seen every single man on stage who has worn the mask around the world in the various productions. In case you are curious who has worn the mask in the past 25 years, there's a good thread on Deserted Phans, a forum for POTO, attempting to list all who have played the iconic Opera Ghost. CLICK HERE

Out of the ones we see on stage, each fan seems to pick one performer that moves them the most in their performance. Out of the four Phantom's I've seen perform the role, Scott Davies, is my favorite. I wish I could say, I've seen Peter, but I have not.

So what are the qualities of a great stage Phantom? Where in the production do we judge the pinnacle of their performance to form an opinion? Music of the Night? Point of No Return? Final lair scene?

Do we take into account the vocals of the performer? How about his nuances of the portrayal of the Phantom himself -- like the way he moves across the stage, or uses his hands and fingers? How about the acting and his reactions such as his cries, his tears, his rage, his parting words of love to Christine? There are so many variances, it's really hard to point to one single thing that makes a great Phantom. Frankly, I think it's whatever touches you as an individual in the whole of the performance itself.

The character of the Phantom is portrayed differently from actor to actor. Always the same lines, usually the same choreography, but differences of interpretation as to the personality of the individual in the black cape. One may appear more menacing and evil than another in the final lair scene or another perhaps controlling, frustrated, or broken.

In the Music of the Night, seduction, passion, and chemistry between Christine and the Phantom vary too. How many have you watched them glide their hands across her body and sway her in a certain way that gives you that craving to be embraced by that bad-boy? I find it quite fascinating, because some people are more prone to the "sexy" Phantoms rather than the "dangerous" psychopath that has you in his clutches. Ah, such sweet intoxication!

I guess whatever floats your gondola is the one you'll choose as your favorite great on-stage Phantom.

Anyway, tune in if you can to hear Peter Karrie. We'll promise to pick his brain about his interpretation of the Phantom of the Opera and perhaps learn why he was chosen as the favorite of many.

If you want, comments are open this time. Feel free to post what makes a great on-stage Phantom in your eyes.

Regards,
The Phantom's Student aka Vicki

Enjoy Peter in the Music of the Night: