A Phantastic Night
I gave you my music, made your song take wing.
And now, how you’ve repaid me,
denied me and betrayed me.
He was bound to love you, when he heard you sing.
Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime
Say the word and I will follow you
Share each day with me, each night, each morning…
You will curse the day
you did not do all that the Phantom asked of you!
The date is september 23, 1909.
A book appears on the shelves written by the french journalist Gaston Leroux.
He speaks of a young man he knew. A man named Erik.
November 25, 1925
A silent film depicts Erik as one of film history ghastliest monsters.
But this character, a phantasm portrayed by Lon Chaney, was anything but a monster
September 27, 1986
Andrew Lloyd Webber introduces us to Erik once again as he lets Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford sing a duet of mystery, terror and Love and from that moment on the whole world knows who Erik is
The Phantom of The Opera
It is a story over a century old, but tells a tale of a love that never dies.
Last night was a special occasion however for the rendition that was given to us bt Andrew Lloyd Webber.
On October 2, 2011 The Royal Albert Hall in London celebrated the 25th Anniversary of this marvelous musical.
But not only the patrons of the Royal Albert hall were privy to this showing. The event was broadcast live to various theatres and cinemas around the world and i was fortunate enough to see it the beautiful Pathe Buitenhof Theatre.
The oldest movie theatre of my hometown, The Hague.
I and Suzanne, my companion for the night, were treated to a night of glamour and style as the chandelier would light up and Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess once again told the tale of Erik, Christine and their doomed Love. We saw a Masquerade get interupted by a Red Death and heard the music of the night.
It truly was an experience to remember.
I recall the first time I ever saw the musical in the San Fransisco Orpheum Theatre. I must have been 12 years old.
I did not know what to expect. ‘Till that day I had never been to a musical and we were tucked away on a highrise balcony which was quite far from the stage.
It all started real timid as certain items got auctioned off at the old Paris Opera. I litteraly was thinking “great, this is gonne be boring as hell”. But then the auction reached lot number 666. A broken chandelier with a curtain draped over it. In it’s day it had crashed down to the Opera floor and mysterious circumstances surrounded it’s fall. Apparantly a ghost had caused it to crush the floor in a fit of rage. And with auctioneers final words the drape was pulled of and music be to roar. The destroyed chandelier rose to the ceiling of the orpheum and lights illuminated ghastly figures in the rafters.
I was sold. This was anything but boring.
It would take me some years however to appreciate the gravity of the story.
But I digress.
Like I already said it was an event unlike any other.
Though not in the actual Royal Albert Hall, the live broadcast gave us a showing much closer than people in the front row of the RAH were able to see.
After all the song and dance had passed. and only a mask was left to be found. The mystery ended…. or did it.
As with every musical the actors did their customary bows. First the dancers, than the backing vocals etc. etc. leading up to the main cast and as it ended with titular character, Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom making his final bow and taking his co-actors by the hand, I trult thought it had ended.
But all of a sudden, a hidden panel on the stage opens and a figure walks out of the darkness.
As this figure reaches the light we all instantly recognize the man.
It was none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber. He gave a speech and his thanks to everyone who has helped make the phantom a succes over the years including the lovely guests. He had some surprises of himself however. He was not the only Guest Appearance on stage.
The original Phantom from Andrew’s first show, Michael Crawford, graced the stage with his pressence. And Andrew could ofcourse not resist introducing us to his “Angel of Music”, the lovely Sarah Brightman.
Though these were not the actors I had seen in the show i was at as a child, i would never have guessed that Sarah would grace us with a song.
She made her way center stage as the organs began to roar once more and from the darkness four men joined her.
It were Anthony Warlow, John Owen-Jones, Colm Wilkinson and Peter Joback. All of them had portrayed the Phantom at one time or another. The Overture reached it’s end as each Phantom demanded the original Christine to sing, a fifth phantom joined them. It was the current phantom Ramin Karimloo hiding still behind the mask.
We were eventually treated to one last song by the Five Phantom’s as they sent us back into the night with their music. The Music of the night.
and they would remind us that life is a masquerade, and that every face has a different shape. Perhaps we should live in a world where we look beyond the masks we all wear everyday.
The Phantom Of the Opera still plays till this day and is without a doubt the longest running musical ever.
If you ever get the chance, go see it. And if you still haven’t had enough. Sir Webber has graced the world with a continuation of story and it’s name says it all about the love the Phantom and Christine shared and I choose to end this blog with those very words
“Love Never Dies”