Comfortable and Furious

The Phantom of the Opera: (2011) Royal Albert Hall

There have been scores of Broadway Musicals, but there are just two of them that I cannot imagine a world without. One, of course, is Les Misérables, and the other is The Phantom of the Opera. The latter is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on a 1910 French novel written by Gaston LeRoux. There have been many versions of The Phantom, both theater and film. One of the recent film editions was the 2004 version starring the ripped, but totally tone-deaf Gerard Butler. The film was gorgeous, and Butler tried, but he is no Michael Crawford or Ramin Karimloo.

The benchmark Phantom and Christine Daae are, of course, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. However, let me present the terrifically talented Ramin Karimloo with the impossibly beautiful and also talented Sierra Boggess. They are just as awesome a duo, and maybe even better than Crawford and Brightman.

The Phantom was a musical genius, but he was also horribly deformed and had been relegated as a young child to be caged up like a wild animal, in a circus freak show. He finally escaped and took refuge in the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, where he wrote his bizarre but beautiful music… and plotted his revenge upon society for his plight. He was also the absentee, often heard but never seen, Angel of Music. He was methodically tutoring the young Christine, grooming her so that she could inevitably supplant La Carlotta as the reigning opera diva.

The Phantom not only orchestrated music, but he also created disruptive and terrifying “accidents” at the theater. These events eventually caused La Carlotta to leave the cast in fear and disgust. This was the opening the Phantom was looking for to elevate Christine to ultimate stardom under his tutelage. However, things get complicated when Christine is reunited with a childhood acquaintance, Raoul. They fall in love, which infuriates the Phantom, as he is very possessive of Christine.

As this drama winds its way to the inevitable tragic conclusion, we are treated to acting and singing that is out of this world. Ramin belts out the classic Phantom with a power and passion that makes him the best Phantom ever. Hadley Fraser as Raoul and Sierra Boggess are not far behind with both delivering stellar performances. There are no weak links in this production, as the costumes and sets were sumptuous and elegant. This presentation was superior to any other Phantom that I have seen, eclipsing even the opulent 2004 film extravaganza.

As with Les Misérables, the audience was treated after the conclusion to members of the past production members. These stars include Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Colm Wilkinson, Peter Joback, Anthony Warlow and John Owens-Jones. Inexplicably, Michael Crawford appeared in street clothes, and did not sing, which was disappointing. Of the 4 previous Phantoms, Peter Joback was by far the most impressive, rivaling even the voice of Karimloo.

Lot 666, then. A chandelier in pieces. Some of you may recall the strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera, a mystery never fully explained. We are told, ladies and gentlemen, that this is the very chandelier that figures in that famous disaster. Our workshops have restored it and fitted parts of it with wiring for the new electric light, so that we may get a hint of how it may look when reassembled. Perhaps we may even frighten away the ghost of so many years ago with a little… illumination. Gentlemen!

…So it began!

10.0+/10.0 With the Goatesian Rating of Best Phantom Ever!



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2 responses to “The Phantom of the Opera: (2011) Royal Albert Hall”

  1. SpamALot Avatar

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  2. Goat Avatar

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