A Review of The Phantom of the Opera The Musical*

3 Jan

London has been haunted by the same ghost for 24 years. The ghost brings about love, hatred, mystery, memory and murder, together with an extravaganza for eyes and ears. It is a ghost of opera.

Inner decorations of Her Majesty's Theatre

The London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece The Phantom of the Opera

just celebrated its 10,000th performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 23 October.

It puts a spell on spectators and drives them addicted, making itself easily stand out from other musical feasts in the West End.

Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, the musical tells a story of a “phantom” (John Owen-Jones), who lives secretly at the Paris Opera House and teaches the chorus girl Christine Daaé (Sofia Escobar) to sing.  The “phantom” falls in love with his student and becomes jealous after discovering Christine’s secret engagement with Raoul (Will Barrat). The two love enemies go into a collision.

The story itself contains almost every factor that a good love story should have, but its charm can be found beyond just story.

Gillian Lynne’s staging design and choreography can easily re-define the senses of luxury and exquisite. Her talent is fully displayed in the second-to-none piece “Masquerade”, where a huge staircase winds from the floor to the air, creating a 3-D stage for massive characters to show off. A mysterious milieu is delicately woven with a glimmering surface.

The music by Andrew Lloyd Webber is another brand of this glamorous musical. It very successfully combines emotions with the story. Single pieces from the musical have also become hits. Even days after the performance, you can still be obsessed with the melody of famous songs such as “Think of Me”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Music of the Night” and “All I Ask of You”.

It can be easily put together with other works of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Although it is not as deep as Cats psychologically, not as related to the reality as Evita, it is still worth recommending to people who are passionate about love stories and good music.

The London production of The Phantom of the Opera is now on show at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4QL. Tickets from £20. For more information, please visit the official website: http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/london/.

*This is a work I did for the Portfolio, an assignment for the MA Journaism (International) course at the University of Westminster

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