Saturday, March 3, 2012
The POTO At The RAH
The Phantom of The Opera at the Royal Albert Hall DVD I ordered arrived 2 weeks ago but I only had time to actually sit and watch it from beginning to end (plus the bonus features!) yesterday night. I've been listening to music from the musical (the original London cast recording with Sarah in it, of course) so much, so often that I could pretty much sing along to every song, but I've never actually seen the stage production in its entirety.
Sure, I saw the 2004 movie with the Phantom, who wasn't old nor made to look ugly enough and who only learned to sing when he was cast, and a wide-eyed wide-mouthed Christine who totally cannot sing despite supposedly having singing experiences prior to the role. Still, I liked everything else about the movie - the orchestra, the set, the costumes, Patrick Wilson and even Minnie Driver's Carlotta.
So, back to this 25th Anniversary production - I love it! Sierra Boggess portrays Christine brilliantly. She has a lovely voice which she uses very well and projects all the right emotions beautifully through her singing and acting. In the scene on the roof of the opera house she looks so frightened and so helpless being haunted by the Phantom I wanted to cry; in the final scene where she takes leave of the Phantom, I actually cried... (or maybe it's just me being so easily moved to tears..) I like Ramin Karimloo's Phantom well enough - he is vocally strong and passionate, and shares a great on-stage chemistry with Ms Boggess. I find the Raoul guy wanting though... sort of not manly nor charming enough - the kind Christine should likely choose the horribly disfigured maniacal murderous musical genius over. I also find Meg a little too loud and irritating. Still, in spite of them, I totally love the show! The costumes are extravagant; the music is luscious and moving; the dancing is elegant and abundant without being overwhelming.
And, like icing on the cake, Lord ALW, the real musical genius, came on stage at the end and brought on the creative teams, the original company, and a very stunning and glowing Sarah Brightman! It's always so heart-warming to hear him call her his Angel of Music (because she is!) and watch them regard each other with so much respect, admiration and love. It's an even greater treat to have Sarah sing the title song with Peter Jöback, John Owen-Jones, Anthony Warlow and Colm Wilkinson - 4 gentlemen who were / are / will be the Phantom in different productions. Simply breathtaking!