This 25th-anniversary production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical is beautiful both visually and to listen to from start to finish.
As part of The Show Must Go On’s series streaming Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals online, this glorious celebration of The Phantom of the Opera highlights how it is a musical that celebrates the power and beauty of music.
Based on Gaston Leroux’s original story, The Phantom of the Opera follows the story of young chorus girl Christine Daaé and the mysterious Phantom who lives under the opera house where she works. It is a story that brings together elements of mystery, romance and thriller – captured perfectly in this musical thanks to songs such as ‘All I Ask of You’, ‘The Music of the Night’ and of course ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.
Lloyd Webber’s rich and textured score combined with Matt Kinley’s sumptuous designs inspired by Maria Björnson’s original design, offers a real spectacle – particularly during memorable moments such as the ‘Masquerade’ and of course the numerous ballet and opera scenes dotted in between the main action. The backdrops are particularly effective in providing the illusion of being in an opera house, while the moment in which the phantom takes Christine down beneath the opera house is impressively staged.
Laurence Connor’s production is filled with grandeur, enhancing the drama to wonderful effect – captured in the scene when Christine visits her father’s grave. It is a scene which is seemingly understated in the way it is presented – but allows the central cast to retain the focus and control over the characters and story, helped further by Patrick Woodroffe’s consistently atmospheric lighting design.
This production also brought together an impressive cast, all capturing their characters with great depth and precision. As Christine, Sierra Boggess offers a delicate and meaningful performance, capturing the character’s conflict of emotions towards the phantom with great insight. Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom delivers an immensely powerful and raw performance that highlights the character’s vulnerabilities as well as the obsessive side with great balance, while Hadley Fraser offers a surprisingly strong and commanding characterisation of Raoul.
It would be fair to say that this 25th anniversary show of The Phantom of the Opera looks as though it was pretty special to watch. Drama, passion and love all brought spectacularly to life on an iconic London stage.
By Emma Clarendon
The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Show will be streamed through The Shows Must Go On Youtube channel for 24 hours only from 7pm Friday 17th April.