I fell in love with the Phantom of the Opera many, many years ago – even before my tenth birthday, the moment I heard the song “All I Ask Of You” playing on our stereo. It was hauntingly beautiful and it was also at that moment that I became a fan of Barbra Streisand. Fast forward a couple of years and I finally managed to get myself a copy of the novel by Gaston Leroux and I fell so in love with the story I just had to reread it again. And again, until I could almost recite the lines.
So imagine my excitement when I heard late last year that the Phantom will be staged here in Manila. Hubby had been fortunate to watch the Broadway version (I wasn’t able to join him on his trip – I was pregnant that time, and well, we don’t really mix business trips with vacations; too stressful for us) so he was a bit nonchalant about it but for me, the only version I know was the movie version. By hook or by crook, I knew I had to see it. And I told hubby I will not settle for anything less than front row (spoiled wife alert).
|The famed chandelier. Sorry for the blurred shot. Cameras weren’t allowed and I took this shot on our way out.|
What can I say? Five minutes into the show and I was bawling my eyes out. The songs were just too perfect and we couldn’t help humming along every now and then. My favourites (aside from All I Ask Of You) include Think Of Me, Angel of Music and Music of the Night.
These songs were rendered wonderfully by the cast; Christine Lyon gave a fine performance as Christine Daae. She was pretty, sexy and therefore looked and sounded almost exactly as I imagined Christine would be (not exactly, mind you, because of my personal bias that Christine should have a softer register, sort of ethereal sound to her voice).
Of the two guys vying for her attention, I found Jonathan Roxmouth’s Phantom’s singing more piercing and perhaps, more skilful than Anthony Downing’s Raoul. But Downing was just too cute. He reminds me of Prince Caspian (from the Disney movie) except that he sounds so good.
|Jonathan Roxmouth as the Phantom|
|Anthony Browning as Raoul|
As for the costume and set, well, I can’t find any fault with it. Everything was as it was in the movie and in the Broadway version (according to hubby), except for the lake and the masquerade scenes, which were decidedly tamer for the Manila version.
Hubby and I loved it so much we bought the live recording from the 25th anniversary, and played it on the drive back home, and watched the movie (for the nth time) last night. And I still want to watch the musical again. I still have two weeks. That’s how good it was (I’m a fan, obviously, but you should really see it).
*Cast photos grabbed from the net.