If you have been following this blog for a while, you must know that I love theatre and performances . Earlier this year I watched Wicked, Nanta and enjoyed my 1st concert.Yet there was one production in particular that was evading me. I missed it while I was in London and was unable to get tickets to the show in Johannesburg. Through some miracle, the 25th anniversary tour of The Phantom of the Opera announced that it would be coming to Korea and of course, I bought tickets for Faraaz & I as soon as I could!
The Phantom of the Opera is an icon – one glimpse of the famous mask logo and you immediately think of the show. Based on the classic novel Le Fantome de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera is widely considered to be one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most accomplished scores. Everything about the show is on a huge scale: the production costs, the set, the costumes, the make-up. In total i’s been seen in 145 cities in 27 countries by more than 130 million people worldwide in over 65,000 performances. It is the longest-running show on Broadway. The box office revenues are higher than any film of stage play in history.
It all sounds so impressive, but unless you’re sitting in a darkened theatre witnessing that curtain go up, it will be difficult to fully appreciate what exactly makes this production special.
The story is simple enough.
The Phantom of the Opera follows the events in a fictional opera house, where a mysterious masked tenant who has been wreaking havoc for the performers becomes obsessed with a young ingénue named Christine.
There is a strange sexual tension between them in the beginning, but the appearance of the nobleman Raoul, who also harbors feelings for Christine, all but dashes the Phantom’s hopes of romancing the beautiful actress.
Desperate to win Christine’s heart, the Phantom spirits her away in the middle of a performance into his lair deep underneath the opera house, with Raoul in hot pursuit.
The climactic face-off ends in an unexpectedly tender moment between Christine and the Phantom.
All 130 cast, crew, and orchestra members did a great job. Timing was precise. Choreography was perfect. Lines and songs were delivered with clarity. Each role was excellently executed. Emotions were all felt by the audience.
Effects were magical, especially the boat scene where candles would seem floating. I was left wondering how they were able to do that. One more thing that’s worth mentioning is the transition from one scene to another. Everything was quick. In just a matter of seconds, backdrops were changed seamlessly.
As for the music, they fit perfectly in every scene. Phantom of the Opera, All I Ask of You, Think of Me, and Angel of Music are only some of the popular songs of the show. They were engaging, keeping audience’s emotions high. Of course, credit also goes to the actors.
The Phantom of the Opera is not made of purely emotionally-heavy scenes. A few comedic lines were injected here and there. A particular line that made everyone smile (and laugh) was the mention of Gangnam here in the Korea.
I’m still on a Phantom ‘high’ even after almost a week since I watched it. Good theatre will live on forever, and congratulations to Andrew Lloyd Webber for 25 years of this!
Its worth mentioning that the actor that played Raoul, the love interest of Christine was Anthony Downing, a heartthrob from South Africa!
If you are in Korea- DO NOT MISS THIS!
Blue Square Musical Hall near Hangangjin Stn. (line 7, ex. 2 & 3).
VIP : W160,000 / R : W130,000 / S: W90,000 / A : W70,000 / B : W50,000.
Weekdays 8 pm, Weekends 2 pm & 7 pm.