The Phantom of the Opera

So this thread spun off from the “favorite villains” thread. Phantom of the Opera talk was kind of taking over, and the villains thread is great as it is and I didn’t want to hijack it. So I’m making this.

Here any fan of any version of the Phantom of the Opera story (originally by Gaston Leroux) can come and talk, about the movie or show by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the original novel, one of the many movies, an audio performance, or another musical version - anything. I’m sure there won’t be a ton of people in here, but I love Phantom, and I like to share that with other people.

(Also, bit cheaty, it will help me gauge the reception for my first Episode story, which is a modern retelling of Leroux’s novel.)

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA LIBRARY: A small collection of free and legal versions of Phantom, for your perusal. Constantly updated. If you would like more information on these versions, to find out where to purchase other versions, or want to know about a bunch of other versions in general, message me! I have a YouTube channel to recommend, for sure.

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
    The original novel that started it all. This is, unfourtunately, likely to be the de Matteo translation, which is inaccurate and heavily abridged, but it’s still the most popular one. It might also be the only one outside copyright now.

  • Highlight Reel of the Phantom of the Opera by Ken Hill
    The Phantom of the Opera by Ken Hill is a musical that was first performed in 1976. Though still a gothic romance with horror elements, it has more comedy than the ALW version, which sadly isn’t featured in this reel. The music is all real opera, with new lyrics for the show. (In this reel, John Owen Jones plays the Phantom - who also played the Phantom in ALW’s version!)

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Kyle Walker
    This is a non-musical play that I found just a week ago, actually. It’s Leroux-based, and very obviously a community theatre-type production with a low budget. Some of the acting and writing can be off, in my opinion, but overall it’s pretty good and fun to watch. I especially love the inclusion of Sorelli and Philippe (Raoul’s brother), Christine’s performance, and this version of Meg. It also is framed by a conversation between Gaston Leroux and Lon Chaney (the silent film’s Phantom).

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA FUN FACTS: Just some facts about different versions I find entertaining.

  • Christine’s dress in Think of Me from the film version of ALW’s musical was based on this artwork of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
  • The man who originally played the Phantom in Yeston and Kopit’s Phantom was Richard White, who is also the voice of Gaston in Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast.
  • The character of Christine Daae was probably inspired by a real Swedish opera singer, Christina Nilsson.
  • The chandilier fall was inspired by a real event that took place at the Palais Garnier: “On 20 May 1896, one of the chandelier’s counterweights broke free and burst through the ceiling into the auditorium, killing a concierge.” (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Contrary to popular belief, the silent film starring Lon Chaney is not the first filmed version of the Phantom of the Opera. There was a version made in, I think 1914, that no longer exists on film.
5 Likes

Oooh, I’m a fan!

1 Like

Awesome! Whats your favorite version?

1 Like

I do have to admit I haven’t seen it in a while though. I like the Andrew Lloyd Webber version and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the original

I love the alw version. It’s one of my favorite musicals. :heart_eyes:

1 Like

i love sarah brightman’s version. phantom wasn’t best but she sounded perfect :slight_smile:

AWH HELLZ YEAH! Thanks for the shoutout! We definitely needed this though, LMAO :heart_eyes: :heart:. What’s your guys’ opinion on the best songs from PoTO? My favourite is the theme song, then “Music of the Night” - that one literally makes my heart ache inside.

And what’s your story’s name? I need to check it out now!

2 Likes

Also, I really liked Sarah Brightman’s portrayal of Christine too. I thoroughly enjoyed Sierra Boggess’s ending to that “AHHH” part in the theme song. However, due to her innocence and sweet portrayal of all of the songs (and I felt like she really looked like what I envisioned Christine to look like), I have to say Emmy Rossum was my favourite Christine. And my favourite phantom was Gerard Butler ofc! :ghost: :ghost: :heartbeat:

1 Like

Btw - sorry to go off on another tangent but I just read your last response on my other thread. I agree that the makeup sucked for the movie - IDK what it is about Gerard Butler in that film but I liked the sincerity and rawness in his voice. I think it was because he wasn’t classically trained.

But I didn’t know they had to digitally enhance some parts of his voice. That’s a real turn-off for me.

I also agree they should have made Gerard uglier though… But I definitely loved Michael Crawford! Did you like Ramin Karimloo?

1 Like

@Paris.Writes I really love the ALW musical. I have a few issues with it that are mostly related to my dislike of ALW himself, but it’s still so beautiful. I think I last saw it live two years ago? Maybe three. I really need to find my playbills. I saw the new restaging North American tour.

@episode.anon Mine, too! I’ve always been into musicals, but I wasn’t as absolutely in love with them as I am now until I -cough- stole -cough- the Highlights soundtrack of Phantom from my mom.

@roscpetal I WILL FIGHT YOU.

…JK, JK. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But Michael Crawford’s voice is what kept me going for a few rough years there. It’s why I was determined to see the show, though he hadn’t been in the show for a very long time when I found it. I have almost all his albums. :sparkling_heart:

I have kind of the opposite opinion. I love Sarah’s voice, but on her solo albums. She didn’t sound like Christine to me, her voice just wasn’t rich and clear enough. But her voice is really wonderful.

@michy My favorite song. Oh boy. Uh. I’ve always had a deep love of “Twisted Every Way”. It’s my favorite to sing, haha. Think of Me is how I found the show, but Music of the Night was the first song I ever heard from it (on a cassette tape of Broadway love songs), and I would listen to the Highlights version on repeat whenever I was sick. I want to sing All I Ask Of You at my wedding…

I can’t decide on a favorite! Maybe Twisted Every Way, though it’s short, and Why Have You Brought Us Here. Weird choices, I know.

My story isn’t published yet, it’s a long ways out. I’ve been thinking about this for years, basically since Campus Crush 2 came out that was a play on Emma by Jane Austen, and I started a few times but they were false starts. I couldn’t figure out how to write it without having huge chunks of flashbacks, or starting on a big flashback. But I finally started again, and the script is going strong! But I need to write the whole thing, relearn the coding, learn some fancy coding, have some art made, and make sure the unmasked face can get approved (though I need to commission that…yesh.) But thank you for the interest! I just finished the first episode and I’m working on the second right now.

I love Emmy’s look, and her voice is sweet, but I feel like it would be much better if she did it now. I think she was too young for the role, with a bad director, so she didn’t really get a real chance to shine. Sierra has one of my favorite voices, but I wasn’t in love with her acting choices. My favorite Christine is Kristi Holden, who played her in Las Vegas. Her voice was warm and perfect, and her acting was on point, I loved her characterization of Christine, sweet but when push comes to shove she has a backbone. My other favorites are Gina Beck and Katie Hall, though Samantha Hill and Sara Jean Ford (my first Christine!) are honorable mentions.

My favorite Phantom…this is hard. There are a couple Phantoms I saw live that I want to list, but I can’t remember their names, and I don’t have access to my playbills at the moment. OH. ANTHONY CRIVELLO. He was in the Vegas show too, he did a great job. Some other favorites are Michael Crawford (obvs), Hugh Panaro (his sarcastic, Phantom by Susan Kay-based performance is everything), David Shannon, and John Owen Jones. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ramin’s voice, but I have the same issue with him that I have with Sierra - his acting was questionable here and there. I blame Love Never Dies.

And yeah. That makeup gives me nightmares, and not for the right reasons! We had the technology for the first time to make it HORRIFIC, but to this day Lon Chaney’s makeup from the 20s is still the best makeup we have.

2 Likes

I think I might link some free (and legal) places to see or read other versions of Phantom on the first post. Anyone interested?

1 Like

Great idea to start a new thread! Definitely down to keep talking about it :slight_smile:

I’ve much to learn about the different musicals/actors/actresses. As well as the history of the musicals. I only know some things about Webber’s from 1988/2004 film because I saw the main song being sung for an awards night on Youtube. The song, the mystery, the design of the stage and costume just spoke loudly to me. I loved dark romantic stuff like that, and I still do! I searched the name of the musical and saw the movie poster beside it and I got hooked to that as well. It was just so pretty and dramatic.

Now looking back at it, I completely agree with your previous comments, @Gwen-Bruce , the 2004 version was definitely meant to be sexual. Not that there’s anything wrong with making a different interpretation…it’s Rossum’s age that makes it pretty wrong.

It’s not exactly the first time a young (16-17 year old) pretty actress gets starred in a film with older guy actors, either. Keira Knightley (whom I’ll always call Queeeeen!) played the role of Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean and I mean…she was definitely made to look sexually appealing. The same goes with Rossum.

Both had that the innocent glistening makeup, gloss on lips, suggestive attire. A weird sexual tension between one/most of the characters. Elizabeth with Jack / Christine with Phantom.

Despite how perfectly well Rossum fit the role physically (I mean she was a Disney Princess come to life especially in that Think of Me dress) she was just…too young for a movie like 2004 Phantom. If the film was going for a dark, sexual fantasy theme then a young actress at the ripe age of 16 or 17 playing as one of the main roles is a liiiiiiiiiiittle questionable. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jealous that she got to be that close with Butler —with the special FX or without! lmaoooo.

The way I now see the movie is that it’s certainly not accurate with a lot of things (especially after gaining more knowledge shared in the previous reply thread ). It;s more so a fantasized version of it. Its’ audience target was towards people who like surrealism, escapism and dark (can’t stress it enough, lol) romanticism.

Okay. There! That’s my analysis of the movie lmao. Unfortunately it’s the only thing I feel more confident talk about, SO enter segway here! I would love it if you shared other versions! I am so ready for my Phantom Frezny :wink:

Oh and another side comment to reply back to your earlier comment. RIP Meg’s character in LND, I mean seriously! And Raoul’s too! Gahhhh. I’ll never forgive it. Meg was sweet, kind, supportive, encouraging and probably badass if her mama was Madam G…who was a straight up G, lol.

LND just completely and totally messed Meg’s character up. It was like a totally different dimension, she got sucked into a vortex and got spit out suddenly in desperate need of attention! Madam Giry, why didn’t you control that girl lmao. And poor, poor Raoul. Seriously! Neither of them deserved that kind of story/plot. Esp Meg.

2 Likes

PS

please include a link for your Episode story! I would love to read it :slight_smile: Or link the thread here since I wouldn’t think we’re allowed to share Episode links/stories in the General branch.

I can’t remember :sweat:

That is an amazing analysis! I love those songs too. I look forward to your story!

I would be interested in some links to other Phantom versions too :smiley:

Also, I don’t know why but I really liked Gerard’s voice in Music of the Night the best. I found the other phantom versions powerful and thrilling but the quiet yet yearning nature to Gerard’s rendition (similar to the phantom teaching himself to sing etc.), is what truly got me. He makes you fall for the phantom. I liked Crawford’s too though! I found Ramin’s a little too showman-like. Very powerful, but I feel like the phantom is more controlling, in a subtle, tender sort of way, opposed to an all dominating, completely powerful presence. But that might just be my interpretation. Gerard’s rendition, to me, sounds more tender (don’t know if his voice was altered in that one). I also liked Emmy’s sweet voice in some of those songs, but I definitely agree about the directing/historical inaccuracies/make up, it definitely could have been better!

2 Likes

@PaperVisage I’m so into dark, romantic stuff. I was hooked, too. It was exactly the story I had been looking for for years, without even knowing it.

No worries about being super familiar with actors/actresses. I only know a lot of them from Tumblr. There are people there where you can ask something like, “Who was the alternate Christine in 1997 in the Japanese production?” and they can pop off with a name, it’s incredible. I will never be able to do that!

I can definitely see a connection between Christine and Elizabeth, the way you put it. It is very uncomfortable to watch someone underage be put in an overtly sexual situation. I can’t imagine anyone else as Elizabeth Swan (yas, queen), but given the situations they wrote about, she was just too young for the role. Thanks for not caring about young girls, Hollywood?

Hey! Fun fact about that dress! It was probably based on this dress, worn my Empress Elisabeth of Austria, including the hairstyle. I think it’s absolutely gorgeous, but I do prefer Maria Bjornson’s design for the opera they’re performing. The colors are just incredible. I do wish they could have Christine wear the film’s Think of Me dress in the Masque or something, though. I’ve never been that impressed with the Star Princess (Christine’s Masque costume).

(I wish I could have gotten closer to Patrick Wilson, personally!)

Madame Giry is 100% straight-up G. She’s probably the only character ever that I prefer in the musical than the book, haha. Two VERY different people! I like gangsta, put-up-with-no-crap Madame Giry. And Meg was an absolute angel who loved and cared deeply for Christine. Same with Raoul! Neither of them would have turned on her like that. And Meg definitely wouldn’t have…done things I don’t want to spoil for anyone. Just. Ugh. It makes me so angry. A sequel would have been cool, but this just threw out everything that came before it!

Anyway. Thank you! I’m only on writing the script for the second episode so I have a TON of work ahead of me, but I know who to tell when it’s ready to publish. :slight_smile:

@michy There are some Phantoms that have a similar rendition, but I can’t think of who. Gerard got to do it on that level because it was a film, and more subtle, softer things can be done on film that you can’t on stage because it would just get lost. I’ll have to brainstorm some other versions for you!

The only note I know for SURE was doctored was the last “you” in the All I Ask Of You Reprise, “…all the the Phantom asked of you”. He couldn’t hold the note long enough. I assume they did it in other places, too, but that’s the only one I know for certain.

1 Like

Okay, so I only saw this happen once, and I need to talk about it.

In the first live performance of ALW I saw, there was a small moment in Prima Donna that I am still OBSESSED with. Raoul took Meg’s hands and kind of twirled with her for a moment, which I saw in other versions, but then when he walked away - MEG REACHED OUT HER HANDS TOWARDS HIM AS HE WALKED AWAY. And then kind of looked down sadly. It was this tiny moment of longing that was just sad and beautiful and I wanted to see it over and over again, but no one else I’ve seen has done it. It kind of made me a bit of a Meg/Raoul shipper!

1 Like

I’ve added a few links. I want to add a lot more, but I need to check that it’s legal to share them. There are also some I need to check with the rules of the forum first before sharing (trailer for R-rated versions, for example). I’m happy to talk about these versions with anyone if they want to message me, though.

1 Like

Bumping really quickly here! Will reply soon enough :slight_smile: Uni just got a little busy before reading break!

Also happy anniversary Gwen! (I love that little cake icon that pops up. So cute! It also reminds me of the time I once ruined a perfectly good strawberry shortcake. It was like the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, and it LOOKED professional but when you ate it…it was the saltiest cake you could ever have tasted! turns out I mistook salt for sugar. Certainly a memorable Christmas. :joy:)

1 Like

Oh, my goodness! I’m so sorry I laughed so hard, but that is so tragic! Haha. I did something similar with chocolate chip cookies once. A group of girls and I were making cookies and the girl reading the recipe said “tablespoon” instead of “teaspoon”, and no one noticed, so the dough ended up SO salty.

Also, thank you! <3 The cake image IS really cute, I’m glad I was on today to see it. Good luck with uni!

1 Like

Oh I love it when that happens! When you find something you never realized you’ve always wanted it lmao.

Daaaaaaaamn! That’s like that American show where all those genius/protegy kids that are given these academic/intellectual challenges. That sounds really cool (and intense!) I suppose it makes sense though, if you are really, really a huge fan of any works you’d learn everything about it. I mean, that’s what a lot of us HP-heads are like :wink: (Psst. I’m in Ravenclaw! Used to be in Gryffindor but after the second test. Both my house AND my wand changed :joy:) :eagle::eagle:

Right? And Hollywood has always been like that even towards children. Some seriously dark and shady stuff going on back there. Hollywood isn’t what most people believe it to be.

Ohhh, wow!! Now I really like that dress! I’m a sucker for historical-references/nods/inspirations. It’s just so cool to bring back old things from the past :slight_smile: I googled up Bjornson’s dress designs and I couldn’t find the Remember Me, one! Do you have a link to a picture? Or a video? Her design does look familiar, though! The one I saw feels very Slavic to me, which really resonates well consider I am of a Slavic background :slight_smile:

Oh DANNG! Wilson is-- wow!! I’m with you on that one, too. :joy: Though I Butler’s accent just makes me melt! I am a total sucker for Irish and Scottish accents :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:

I absolutely agree. Those two should have stayed true to their characters! Characters that start off with strong wills and level heads will always end the same way. LND was a complete swallow-up to another dimension :joy:

I completely understand! As of right now I am (procrastinating…) my University’s script all the while trying to plan out my own Episode story. Perhaps we can take a look at each other’s from time to time? I wouldn’t mind helping a fellow writer :black_heart: