“Sing!” “AHH!” “Sing for me!” “AHHH!” I’m not being crazy but if you’ve read, watched or heard The Phantom of the Opera, then you’ll probably get the reference. Known to be one of the longest-running shows in Broadway and one of the most successful musicals in the history of entertainment, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has made its way back to Singapore with yet another show on its tour — and this time we’re giving our take on the musical and what you can expect from a first-timer’s point of view.
Unlike many who have already watched it, I was one of the very few who got my first slice of the award-winning show over at the Sands Theatre just last week. In all honesty, I had no clue about the story behind the musical itself — neither have I watched the film nor read the book. (Have I been living under a rock? Uhm, yes, probably.) In my defense, it’s not that I’m not into musicals; I do enjoy them, but I haven’t been to an opera and neither am I an opera fan. While Phantom isn’t technically an opera, it is set in an opera theatre, written by a classical composer, and combines sing-song dialogue with plenty of vibratos and head voice singing. In other words, very opera-like. Still, the whole idea and the hype around the show piqued my curiosity for sure — and the fact is, you don’t have to have a fine taste of the arts to watch it — so don’t hold yourself back on watching it because trust me, it’s definitely worth considering.
So what’s the show all about?
Well, I won’t spoil it for you by telling you the full story, but from my first experience, I’d suggest you read the book, watch the movie or at least read Wiki’s summary of the plot — just in case you get distracted by their astounding vocals during the musical itself.
To put it in short, the story is based off a man named, Erik, a deformed musical genius aka The Phantom of the Opera, who haunts the Paris Opera House, and falls in love with a young Swedish Soprano, Christine Daaé after making her his very own protégé. The show then unfolds as Christine finds herself in love with Raoul, which then transcends into a series of events spurred by the over-possessive Phantom and his feelings of love, jealousy, and passion.
Aside from its captivating storyline, the stage and screen adaptations from the novel were well displayed with seamless transitions throughout the show itself. It was mindblowing, and I’m not exaggerating but you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. The transitioning of the prologue scene to the opera house was exceptionally brilliant as it was interestingly and creatively presented without any pauses.
From the large chandelier cascading down from the ceiling, to the “Masquerade” scene where masked characters pranced around the stage dancing in full company, every single scene was a spectacle itself.
The boat scene, of course, was one of the main highlights of the show, in my opinion. Picture this — the stage, illuminated by the candles in iron candelabra, where the Phantom captures Christine and rows from his mist-shrouded dock to his lair. It was if I was transported into another realm.
THE CAST & performance
The Phantom of the Opera comprises of roles that involve a cast of at least 133 people of which 3 hold the main focus throughout the whole storyline — I’m not saying that the rest of the characters aren’t important, I’m just saying they’re a little more significant, duh. The current cast members, consisting of Jonathan Roxmouth, Meghan Picerno and Matt Leisy, were considerably remarkable in their performance — but that was the remark I passed off before I watched a recording of Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo’s iconic rendition of “Phantom of the Opera” at the Classic BRIT Awards in 2012 — a song that’s one of the signature highlights of the show. My jaw dropped — Sierra and Ramin’s performance was one of the best vocal performances I’ve witnessed in a long time, which means any other rendition would, unfortunately, pale in comparison. Still, there’s something special to be said of the acoustics — and the intimacy — of a live performance.
At the Sands Theatre, Meghan and Jonathan nailed their performances, with the latter playing the title character with equal parts rage and deep sorrow. I can still hear them singing in my head right after the show. My favourite track from the lot? Hands down it’d have to be ‘Masquerade’. Apart from its catchy hooks, the performance was absolutely splendid — it was stylishly choreographed and you could tell that they were very meticulous with each character riotously costumed in elaborate pieces, dancing and belting their heart out to every note.
IS IT WORTH WATCHING?
Yes, especially if it’s your first time watching it, or even your first time hearing about it, this award-winning musical doesn’t deserve to be missed.
But just a heads up before you make your way down to the musical — make sure to wear something that’s comfortable and warm during the show. Reason being: it’s freezing cold and the whole musical takes up 2.5 hours, so be sure to be on time and make your way to the ladies/gents before the show begins.
The Phantom of the Opera
Dates: Wed, 24 Apr — Sat, 8 Jun 2019
Tue – Fri: 8pm
Sat: 2pm & 8pm
Sun: 1pm & 6pm
Ticket prices vary from $75 to $700.
Get your tickets now on sistic.com.sg