Quote of the Day: Night time sharpens, heightens each sensation, darkness stirs and wakes imagination. Silently the senses abandon their defenses. from the Phantom’s solo “The Music of the Night,” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. I saw the North American touring show at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, MN on Friday, December 15, 2017, and it was spectacular. It was media night, and they had us sitting in the front. If I was a few seats over, I would have been sitting directly under the falling chandelier. It was magical and wonderful. I have always loved the music from The Phantom of the Opera. The story is haunting and heart-breaking. The voices are extraordinary. And, the set and staging of this production is incredible, with many moving parts and special effects. They need extra stage hands at each venue to load and unload the 20 trucks needed to transport this show. The chandelier alone weighs one ton and has 6,000 beads. The main scenic wall weighs 10 tons and rotates around the stage. The lighting, sound, costumes, choreography and staging all add to the magical effect of this long-standing musical, nearing its 30th year on Broadway.
I was drawn to this story from the start, when it first appeared as a musical in 1986. I read the book by Gaston Leroux. I saw a performance of it at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 1991, in the standing room only section. I bought the cast recording, songbook, and commemorative mug. There’s something about the Phantom, his isolation from society, his longing and genius, his fear of people, and yet his deep desire to connect with someone, all create a sympathy for him. All his life, he’s only known pain and torture, rejection and abandonment. Then, he sees Christine, he hears her pure, sweet voice, and she becomes his muse, his one obsession. “You alone can make my song take flight,” he sings to her with such hope and longing. But, of course, she can’t exist in the darkness. She is a real person who belongs in the light. And, yet, she is drawn to him. He pulls her in with his music, his teaching, his admiration for her, and his sorcery. He is said to be both a musical genius and inventor. Since he lives in the dark places of the Paris Opera House, he knows every secret passageway and hiding place. He can move quickly and silently.
As the Phantom brings Christine into the light of stardom, she finds real love. She sings the Phantom’s music, but needs to go her own way. He doesn’t know how to let her go, so he lures her into his lair, the maze and caverns of the Opera House. But, Raoul won’t let her be kept there. Christine shows the Phantom great compassion, even love, and he doesn’t quite know how to react. Perhaps, for a brief moment, he’s pulled out of his own darkness.
The entire cast is tremendously talented. Eva Tavares plays a beautiful and compassionate Christine. Her voice is made for this part, light and high, and full of emotion. Jordan Craig is a darling Raoul, a much sweeter softer voice and demeanor. And, Derrick Davis as the Phantom is spectacular. His gives The Phantom an edge, a darkness, and yet, I feel an even stronger sympathy for him. He is a wounded soul, searching, longing, creating, reaching out, demanding his own way, and living in the darkness. Quentin Oliver Lee will be taking over the lead role, and I’m sure will add his own talents to the production.
This production of The Phantom of the Opera has some new features, staging, choreography, costuming, and set. It is still the same glorious score and haunting story. You can see it through December 31, 2017, at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, MN. It continues the tour through September 2, 2018. Check The Phantom of the Opera Tour for tour dates, hopefully, in a city near you!
This press release gives all the details and proper credits:
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, is now on tour across North America. Critics are raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before.” This PHANTOM features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony® Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony® Award-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and a new staging by director Laurence Connor. The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score – with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade” – is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What might happen if you “let your soul take you where you long to be?”