Phantom of the Opera, The review

Phantom of the Opera, The Review - Broadway musical

The idea to create a musical based on the eponymous French novel by the Frenchman Gaston Leroux, came to A. L. Webber in 1984 was due to the producer C. Mackintosh, when he told him about his plans. After reviewing two film adaptations of the novel, they were thinking about how to implement a similar story on the stage. Soon, A. Lloyd Webber purchased a used copy of very rare edition of the work of the French writer. This book throughout the creation of the musical inspired the composer. To write the lyrics were invited A. J. Lerner, R. Stilgoe & C. Hart. In the production used lyrics of the last two authors.

Because the action took place in the theater, A. Lloyd Webber was able to embody in his work the principle of "the show within the show". Despite the strict musical form and structure, the score reflected in times operatic style. Decorations were created by M. Björnson. The designer came up with 200 different costumes for performance. Set design included very unusual items: a huge chandelier, a gondola, where Phantom and Christine crossed the underground lake, and a large staircase. Also, the designer has created a half-mask for the main character. In 1985, during the try-outs, Phantom's face was completely covered with the mask, which prevented actor to act well. Half-mask has become the hallmark of this production. Job of M. Björnson has been awarded with a number of prizes.

Setting aroused great excitement of the public, though critics were divided in their opinion. In their reviews, they noticed that the storyline was too simple for this musical. But thanks to the perfect balance of all the parts, it was almost unnoticeable when viewing a show. Has been noted excellent performance of M. Crawford, who played the role of a mysterious mentor of young singer. That part made him extremely famous and rich. According to critics, the image of Phantom completely overshadowed the rest of the heroes. A deep and expressive voice of M. Crawford perfectly fit his character and a song ‘The Music Of The Night’ has become the hallmark of the play and one of best songs ever made in the world. Soprano of S. Brightman sounded amazingly. Due to her fragile appearance in youth, the singer perfectly embodied young Christine, who eventually broken a heart of the Phantom.

Despite the opinion of critics, the musical has become the most popular thing ever made in musical theater. Show was staged in different countries around the world, proving that great music of Webber is perceived by the public regardless of nationality. The performance lives for almost 30 years on Broadway and in the West End. The musical was twice marked by Laurence Olivier Award. Broadway production received 7 Drama Desks and another 11 nominations. It was also awarded 5 times with Outer Critics Circle Award. The musical won 7 Tonies and had another 3 nominations. In 2010, Webber presented to the public a continuation of the musical, but the sequel was unable to repeat the dizzying success that accompanied the first production.
Last Update:July, 06th 2016

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