Phantom of the Opera
Where was Charlie White?
This is way cool. At the end of the 25th aniversary performance of Phantom of the Opera at the Albert Hall,
now being shown on PBS,
Andrew Loyd Webber is introducing various folks from the past 25 years, including four of the Phantoms, and
of course he brings out his ex-wife, Sarah Brightman, the original Christine, and she sings the theme with the four
past Phantoms....then they sing "Music of the Night".....
Oh, Chris, wasn't it wonderful? And to see how well Sarah Brightman's voice has held up...wow! I hope other GS people were able to watch it.
What did you think of the current Phantom, Ramin Karimloo? Isn't he charismatic? I first noticed him in the televised 25th anniversary concert performance of Les Mis. I think the youngest Jonas brother was Marius, and Karimloo was--is it Enjolras? The guy who summoned everyone to the barricades. Nick Jonas has a nice light voice, but he was about eighteen at the time and just didn't have the heft he needed for a sung-through musical like Les Mis. By contrast, Karimloo was simply titanic. He sounded as if he didn't even need a microphone, plus he conveyed the character's emotions with blistering conviction. And now here he is as the Phantom, an ideal role for someone with his forceful voice and personality.
It was great to see the previous Phantoms, all the way back to Michael Crawford. This reminded me of my favorite anniversary performance of one of the big musicals, the tenth anniversary of Les Mis. At the end, they had about 17 men from all over the world, the Jean Valjeans from various national companies, each taking a line from "Do You Hear the People Sing" and singing it in his own language. It gave me gooseflesh to think of how that musical has covered the planet. Pay special attention to Tommy Korberg of Sweden: he also originated the role of the Russian in the London company of Chess (he sings fluently in English as well as in Swedish), and he's got one of those national-treasure voices and careers. Here's the link:
Last edited by Olympia; 03-08-2012 at 09:48 PM.
I fear Sarah is experiencing the ravages of time, just like some of the rest of us....
I wonder why Les Mis was never made into a movie? Never saw the whole play......
(I have a confession......I never really cared much who played the Phantom......he wasnt exactly a favorite charactor of mine....)
When I play my version of the CD,(the Coyote Cut) I cut out all of his songs......
(ALW origninally wrote "Music of the Night" to be sung by Sarah, by the way....)
I believe that ALW is trying to revive his sequel to the Phantom of the Opera. It did not go well during it's 1st run, but he feels that part of its failure was his not being more involved in it's marketing, since he was ill at the time.
Was it not fabulous? Seems they wanted to replicate Les Miz 25th anniversary. I have the 10th Les Miz.
Question. Michael Crawford was the original Phantom in London, yes? Did he also have a lead role in the original Les Miz? Michael didn't sing, so I can only guess he was intimidated. Colm Wilkinson will always be Jean Valjean for me. I didn't realize he had been the Phantom as well. I only want to change the ending. And it is clear ALW is still enamored of his beautiful discovery Sarah Brightman, though the marriage didn't last, it appears the freindship did.
I think Jackie Evancho might mature into that role. She is such a beautiful child, I can see her as Christine if her voice develops. I had no idea there was ever a sequel.
I saw POTO so long ago, just once, in Boston and it was wonderful. I have the movie which is good but nothing like live theatre. I would see POTO or any ALW theatrical a million times. I saw the original Evita in London, but Lupone is the best Evita. Sarah still has a lot of voice. I of course thought of Whitney. Even those with good habits decline over years. I love POTO, Evita, Superstar and Sunset Blvd best, though I only saw Sunset Blvd in parts on PBS. I loved Glenn Close, but felt Lupone would have been the better singer. I love the music and the original movie is still spellbinding. I loved "Cats "for the dancing and the cats of course, and some music, but I never like T.S Elliott. I would love to see "Billy Elliott" as done by Sir Elton. Anyone seen it? Anyone see 'Wicked" with Kristen and Idina? I adore Idina Menzel. I don't get to New York, so I missed much, being disabled. I wish I had a large screen to take in that 25th Version of POTO. I know I was at the Royal Albert Hall years ago, 'before.' I lost my journal and can't recall what I even saw there, but I know I was in nose bleed seats. It is terrible not to remember. I'm sure it was good though. For a theatre and live performance lover, London is like heaven. Student pricing made so much affordable back in those days.
London had it all, and I guess still does. My dream (of many) was to attend the Olympics. Do we have any Londoners in the forum. What a great place to live.
I can answer some of those questions! I read that Michael Crawford had done a show of his own that afternoon, so he was resting his voice. I was worried a bit at first, because he didn't look well, but apparently he is still going strong. Like you, I didn't realize that Colm Wilkinson had also done Phantom. I think a lot of those guys must cross over because the "big-voice" musicals all take a certain kind of singer. The man who sang the Phantom for the actual performance (and who sang the lead in the sequel, which I hope ALW will revive) also performed several lead roles in Les Mis. In Sweden Tommy Korberg performed both Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and Anatoly, the Russian chess player, in Chess.
I expected that Brightman's voice would have worn a bit, but to my delight, she hit the high notes extremely well. There was a little vocal fraying in some of the other parts of the song, but not enough to worry about. Good for her! And isn't it great that she and ALW have remained friends. That also seems to be true of Anni-Frid, one of the singers in ABBA, and whichever guy she was married to. (Benny or Bjorn; Agnetha was married to the other one, and I always get them mixed up.) She traveled with him when ABBA was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, I believe.
Like you, I love the music to Sunset Boulevard. My affection for it springs not from a love of the original film but from a love of silent movies. It must have been such a jolt for silent movie performers when talkies started. People who were on top of the world often found their careers evaporating, not necessarily because they had bad voices but because their style and persona just didn't translate to the sleeker, more realistic world of talkies. And some of the actresses were less than thirty years old at the start of talkies in 1927 or so. So they easily would have been just fifty or so at the time of the filming of Sunset Boulevard.
I've never seen Wicked, but I have the original cast Broadway recording. The music is great, and the lyrics are really intricate and witty. The two original leads, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, are terrific. I hope they make a movie of it, though I'd be very fearful of their ruining it, also. Some musicals just don't translate to the screen.
I think we should all go to London for the Olympics! (I know; dream on. But dreams are cheap, and they give life more of a glow, right?) What a wonderful thing it's going to be. I love London, too. I hope any GS poster who gets there will take notes and keep us posted with details.
Originally Posted by Olympia
I was also concerned when MC did not sing. as you said, he was starring in London's Wizard of Oz that afternoon and needed to rest his voice for the next day's performance. I'm sure since he was under contract to that show, he couldn't sacrifice his voice and sing at the POTO anniversary.
I attended the 10th anniversary performance of POTO on Broadway for FREE. Actually, my college roommate's sister-in-law's boss is the BIL of one of the producers. She arranged to get tickets for college roomie and her mother. However, her mother wasn't feeling well; so, I got to go instead! Tickets were 10th row orchestra 3&4th seat in! Great seats and we didn't know it was an anniversary until the end of the performance.
I saw Wicked on Broadway. Unfortunately, not with Idina and Kristin C - I think it really made a difference with regards to my enjoyment of the music. I dod think the story is very clever.
WHen I saw Into The Woods (a precursor to the hit TV show Once Upon a Time), Bernadette Peters was playing the witch. I think she's probably the 'biggest' Broadway star I've seen in a perfrmance.
Right now , I'd love to see Lea Michele perform anything on Broadway and if there's every a revivial of Dream Girls, it would be fantastic to get the 3 ladies from the movie to reprise their roles on Broadway for at least a short run.
Ooh, you saw Bernadette Peters! You are a lucky duck indeed. What a lovely sweet, supple voice she has. I have seen only her televised performance of Dot in Sunday in the Park with George, perhaps my favorite Sondheim musical, and I just loved her in it.
Sarah is a very strong willed woman and I think they still love one another, they just cant live together. One has to wonder what would have happened if the miscarrage didnt happen.
Originally Posted by skateluvr
Best recent ALW and Sarah moment was her tribute to him at the Kennedy center awards....just try and not cry....
Jackie rocks....I hope she goes to maturity well and wish her the best.
The special edition POTO DVD of the movie is fantastic with an extra special on how ALW made the play and then how he made the movie and why.
The Sequal, "Love Never Dies" movie will be out soon. I really dont want to see it. It would be like taking Pride and Prejudice and doing a sequal and ruining everything.
Chris who goes to skating events just to see people skate to Sarah's music and ALW's music (and all the beautiful women, of course)
I love Jackie Evancho, too. I'm interested in the dark coloration of her voice. A lot of young girls with operatic voices (as opposed to big-voiced belters such as the young LeAnn Rimes) are high sopranos, sometimes even coloraturas. Here's very young (aged 10) Beverly Sills, on a radio talent show. (Obviously she already has had technical training.)
I don't know enough about how voices develop, but my suspicion is that Jackie Evancho might grow up to be a mezzo-soprano, more like Marilyn Horne or Cecilia Bartholdi. That would be splendid.
Interesting link. This reminds me of why opera purists dont like Sarah....and why I (in general) dont like opera singers...but then again, SB is the most successful soprano than ever lived, and few remember who Ms. Sills was...
Originally Posted by Olympia
(sorry Olympia...I am not trying to diss Ms. Sills....she had a long and great carreer and was excellent at what she did, but there are very few sopranos (who have the synergy that great looks, voice, music, and the talant to put on a show that knocked the common man's socks off) who can even come close to what Sarah has done in her life.
No offense taken, Chris!
I actually love opera, though not as much as a true opera buff. I just generally love classical music, and opera is part of it. The piece Sills was singing is very "mannered," in the bel canto style, so it's not as close to the emotional content as something by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I agree that opera is not to everyone's taste, but there are parts of it that always reach me. See below for a much less formal example. For me, opera is part of a continuum that also contains Sarah Brightman, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore and Doris Day, Joan Baez and Judy Collins, Ethel Merman, Dusty Springfield, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt. All are splendid voices with different ways of delivering beauty and emotion.
The relationship of opera to popular singing is a bit like the relationship of ballet to figure skating, as in our discussion thread elsewhere on this site: the training for opera can strengthen the voice, help with breathing, and teach a singer how to preserve a healthy voice because she's producing it correctly. There are actually opera-trained singers who can sing popular music without sounding flowery and overblown: Eileen Farrell used to sing the blues, and in our time Kristin Chenoweth did an awesome job starring in Wicked. In movies, when they filmed Carmen Jones, a Richard Rodgers musical that adapted and jazzed up music from Bizet's Carmen, Dorothy Dandridge's voice was dubbed by a young singer named Marilyn Horne, who is widely considered one of the voices of the century in the opera world.
One problem with opera is that there's not a lot of well-written modern opera, that's closer to our tastes. (I think stuff by Andrew Lloyd Webber comes close, actually.) But take a listen to this song by an adult Sills from The Ballad of Baby Doe, a modern American opera about a silver mining family.
Last edited by Olympia; 03-13-2012 at 07:24 AM.
I think true Opera is dying.....it was always a bit of an upper class activity but now even they have lost interest......ALW and Sarah realized that you could cross over the boundry between musical theatre and opera and make a hit....Sarah then, after POTO, ran with with ball and combined Opera music with modern music and the rest is history. Andre Rieu did much the same thing.....
That explains sarah's five number one classical alblums and 4 number 2s on the billboard classics list....not including POTO. And her success on the world music list
And why skating fans and choreogrphers love her....
Remember Emily and Evan's free dance during the last Olympic year? At nationals, even Yasa was crying in the Kiss and cry and the crowd went wild. Sure, they love E and E, but they love Sarah too.
Same effect when Davis and White won the free dance at the Olympics with POTO....the ALW effect.
She took Opera out on the open road and openned her up, just to see what she would do.....