One of the most enduring classics of Broadway is The Phantom of the Opera, the musical that reveals the perils of love and obsession. I missed it the first time it was staged in Manila but I’m glad they returned. I fell in love with the story, the lush production, and the powerful cast. I had chills the entire evening!
The Phantom of the Opera is based on the 1909 French novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. It tells the story of a disfigured musical genius, who lives beneath the Paris Opera House and falls in love with a young soprano named Christine. He becomes obsessed with her, leading to passion, jealousy, and madness. It is now the longest-running show in Broadway history, performing its 13,000th show in 2018. It has over 70 major awards, including seven Tony Awards and four Olivier Awards.
An opera relies on its cast and Phantom exceeds expectations. Meghan Picerno is brilliant as Christine. Her tiny frame hides a powerful voice that can reach the valleys and peaks of her numbers, like in my favorite “The Phantom of the Opera.” Jonathan Roxmouth matches her note for note as the musical genius, and his voice booms with emotions at the right times, such as the iconic “All I Ask Of You.”
The other songs are just as unforgettable. There’s the sweet “The Music of the Night” and the colorful “Masquerade.” Each note and lyric is brimming with love, whether it’s the kilig kind or the leave-me-the-fuck-alone type.
My favorite thing about The Phantom of the Opera is the production. No expense was spared in building the world of 1911 Paris. The set, the costumes, the Phantom’s lair, and the transition between sets was so beautiful and seamless that I gasped out loud every time I saw a new scene unfold in front of me. I screamed internally during “The Phantom of the Opera” (it sounds like it’s my favorite song and it is), especially the montage where they’re going to the lair for the first time. After seeing the musical, I watched the film adaptation starring Gerard Butler as the Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine. Critics praised the spectacle and it was even nominated for a few Oscars but it didn’t capture the magic of the stage version.
Phantom is sensory overload but it’s perfect the way it is. All I ask of you is this: go listen to the music of the night.
This story is in partnership with Concertus Manila. The Phantom of the Opera will be staged at The Theatre at Solaire. Tickets are now on sale at www.ticketworld.com.ph. The show is a collaboration between Concertus Manila, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, and Ticketworld. For more information, follow Concertus Manila’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions’ Facebook and Twitter pages.